Following my post asking who my readers are, and posts by Michael Griffin and Tyson Seburn in which they discussed students reading their blogs, I thought I would continue my introspective streak and say a little about who I think I’m writing for.
Mike and Tyson both asked a set of questions which I’ll start off by answering:
- Do you think about students potentially reading what you write?
Yes. In fact, I assume that they will, and have written some posts specifically for them, like Useful FCE websites. I also have a whole separate blog, sadly neglected, which was designed for students, and I often refer them to the Quizlet and podcasts posts there.
As a CELTA trainer, I actively encourage trainees to read posts that were written with them in mind, not least Useful links for CELTA. I always assume that my reading can be read by anyone, and therefore try to keep things anonymous or not include them if I think they might cause problems at some point down the line.
- Would your writing be different if you were sure students would never read it?
I don’t think so, because I would still assume that somebody who reads it might know my students, even if they weren’t my students themselves.
- Have your students ever talked about your blog with you?
One or two students have asked me about it, and I told my new group about it in a letter I wrote them today, though I just said I have a blog, not what the actual link is.
A trainee once came up to me in getting to know you session at the beginning of CELTA, and jokingly said ‘I wanted to meet you quickly, because I wanted to know what someone who tortures people spiritually is like.’ She was referring to a post I’d written a couple of weeks before.
- Have you ever heard of a teacher getting in hot water with a student based on what they wrote on a blog?
No, though I’m sure those stories must be out there.
- Do you have guidelines for yourself or from your institutions about what you can and should write about on blogs or elsewhere?
There are no institutional guidelines (if there were, I would probably have been involved in writing them!) I have one personal guideline though: Only write things about other people that you wouldn’t mind people writing about you. It’s a variant of ‘do as you would be done by’.
- Does it bring credibility to you as their instructor? (My additional question)
I don’t know, though I think it does show them that I care about my profession and put extra time into it beyond work.
So who do I think I’m writing for then? The things I write about are probably aimed at the following groups of people:
- Other teachers.
- CELTA trainees and trainers.
- Delta trainees.
- Students (occasionally).
- People wondering about living/moving abroad.
- People with ulcerative colitis and other chronic health conditions.
- People who are interested in my life, what I’m up to, and the thoughts in my head 🙂
- Myself, especially for catharsis.
I tend to write posts as they pop into my head, if I have time, though some sit in my head for a long time before they make it onto the blog. Having said that, I currently have 88 titles in my drafts, which I may or may not return to one day! It’s therefore pot luck as to which of those audiences I’m writing for when I hit publish, depending on what I’m interested in/worrying about on any given day. This particularly post was mostly written to Tyson and Mike to answer their questions, but also for myself to work out my answers are. The rest of you can take it or leave it 😉