It’s a mindset!
I hope this will not be the case for long. I am beginning to see more academics create their own blogs as a means of working out the intricacies of unformed thoughts, for commenting on current events, or, like my posts, for reflecting on the state of the profession and our place in it. Many of us are young professors, but not all of us. The point is that more of us can see the value of reaching a larger audience and the immediacy of the response the internet allows. You don’t always get the most constructive responses, of course, but knowing that someone has read your work and considered your ideas can be satisfying.
I could really relate. I have included my blog in my file for the faculty evaluation process for the last two years. I am not trying to say it is scholarship as in professional pieces published in peer-reviewed journals bu rather as an example of informal learning that I firmly believe is important for all of us who teach. It is, to me, indicative of a mindset that acknowledges that there is lots more I can learn. This year, my committee requested that I remove mention of my blog from my file.
Part of me wants to keep the blog in because blogging and reading blogs is a big part of the learning and thinking I do. I definitely get more out of it than I do out of the coursework I have taken since I have been on the faculty here. But the other part of me knows that I have to play the game according to their rules. I don’t like that feeling at all.
I can see that the blog is not going to fulfill my publishing requirements for tenure. I am not trying to pass it off as that. What I am trying to do is demonstrate that I strongly believe in lifelong learning and conversation about issues in the field of education. Blogging is indicative of a mindset that I value — even if no one else on campus seems to.