So, why a blog, and why now? Two great questions, considering starting a blog has been my New Year’s resolution for five consecutive years. I really started following a lot of great educators and checking out their blogs when the Twitter ed-revolution exploded a few years ago, and I was always amazed and inspired about what they had to offer in terms of general philosophy, teaching and learning. I also loved all of the practical pearls of wisdom and awesome ideas that I could incorporate in my classroom. I felt that I might have a few things to share as well, but the timing never seemed right. A hectic schedule at school and a lot going on on the home front kept a blog on the back burner for most of the teens.
My schedule has only become busier, and being a husband and a dad continues to me the happiest way to spend my time – but after entering my 26th year of teaching, I really feel that getting my thoughts in an open forum and sharing some of the cool work of my students and colleagues is not only great professional development, but also an increasingly powerful way to increase my connectivity with other educators around the globe. Plus, I feel this could be a great way to communicate, discuss, and reflect on what’s going on in the world of social studies education, promote some excellent professional development experiences for others, and highlight other great educators that I am fortunate to call colleagues and friends.
The title of the blog is kind of like the term “doughboys” for a World War I soldier – there are a variety of origins, and all of them wrapped together explain the purpose of phrase. Volume has always been both a gift and a curse for me – I don’t need microphones, but a lot of times I need a muzzle. I also feel social studies is a discipline that needs speaking, discussing, debating, music, volume – it’s not a quiet world when humans interact! My friend (and blog instigator) Andi Kornowski suggested the concept of “out loud” two years ago, it is always been in my mind. In addition, I would love to reenter the world of podcasting that I attempted years ago, so “out loud” it is. While the title is “Social Studies Out Loud”, I think many of the concepts and ideas that are presented here can apply to other disciplines, especially in the area of technology. Plus, “Learning Out Loud” was pretty much taken.
My hopes? To present ideas that can help other educators near and far as we continue to grow in the noble profession of teaching. I’d love to keep the conversation about social studies education at the forefront, as I worry about it being marginalized. Much of what I write about and share will not be entirely original, as I am definitely a educator who is gratefully influenced by hundreds, if not thousands, of others. I just may try to write it with a little more sarcasm and silliness. Most of all, I hope this helps me grow as a professional as I continue to play the back nine of my teaching career.
Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for sharing, and thanks for helping make me a better professional educator. Let’s get LOUD!