I am starting this little foray into ‘teacher writers’ with a teaching blog called ‘Cult of Pedagogy’. Although by now the blog has many contributors it was started by a teacher and teacher trainer called Jennifer Gonzalez. She wanted to ‘talk inspired teaching’ with an engaged community – something that had been lacking in her school staffroom – and blogging became her vehicle and platform to do this.
I stumbled upon Cult of Pedagogy a few years ago, when I was researching ways to improve my classroom management (i.e. stop yelling at my students). Not only did Cult of Pedagogy have an article about exactly this topic it immediately struck me as a different kind of teacher blog – a thinking space, rather than just an instructive space. The formula for most teaching blogs seems to be ‘Hey I did this thing so well! Here’s what I did and here’s a small freebie to get you started or you can buy my bumper pack for $5.’ And while I don’t begrudge the existence of these kinds of teacher blogs (there are many truly glorious ones) I think Cult of Pedagogy's approach is refreshing – and important!
Cult of pedagogy is divided into three parts. There is ‘The Craft’, which looks into teaching methods and classroom management and raises pointed issues such as Are we Meeting the Needs of Black Girls? and about Making Schools a Safe Place for LGBTQ students. ‘Go Deep’ looks at education theory, professional development and also includes great book reviews. And then ‘Teacher Soul’ which talks about attitude adjustment, collaboration and staying inspired. ‘Teacher soul’ also includes stories, of individual teacher’s journeys like this ‘diary of a first-year teacher’ as well as inventive initiatives like ‘How one teacher started an urban gardening revolution’.
Although the whole site is US-centric, which is a somewhat tiresome characteristic of most teaching blogs online, it touches on topics that are relevant to many schooling contexts – particularly around issues of reform, justice and equity. If you are a teacher, or even if you aren’t, I recommend taking a turn around this site. Enjoy!
A daunted but determined teacher irons out the fabric of her brain.