Why I Blog and Why You Should Too

I recently presented at conference at my college, Kutztown University, with some of my peers. Our presentation focused on blogging and media as a platform for teaching and seeing gender issues in the classroom. While prepping for this presentation, it really got me thinking about ways I have seen gender and other social issues play out in the classroom. 

I am a future English teacher. I am currently student teaching in a middle school right now, and had it not been for my Women's and Gender Studies (WGS) independent study, I would not be in the mindset I am today. For example, I had never really educated myself about issues other than the history and progression of women's rights. After my independent study,I learned more about cultural diversity and women's rights, more about the LGBTQ+ community, body positivity, etc. I began blogging about the works I read, from individuals such as bell hooks, Naomi Wolf, and Sirena J. Riley. In my group presentation, I focused on how blogging helped me see different perspectives of different issues and how this further will benefit my students.

Educating myself on these issues benefits my students because as I blog, I am thinking about how I can use the information I am blogging about in my classroom. When I am educated on a cultural issue, it can help me choose multicultural texts such as I Am Malala and Brown Girl Dreaming. When I am blogging about rape culture, I am thinking of stories such as Speak and Bait that sends students the message of "no means no" but in a subtle way. 

My peers talked about how they can use blogging as tools for their students, as in, the students do the blogging themselves. Blogging is an outlet, and it is a more informal approach of writing, so students will be writing for an audience other than the teacher. One of the reasons I began writing for Her Campus (which I began before blogging) is that I felt I hadn't been writing for leisure as much anymore; I had been creating academic based work only. Her Campus and blogging allowed me to start writing through my own voice again. 

Start a new journey. Begin a blog. Write for newspapers. Join your school's Her Campus chapter, or take initiative and create your campus's first chapter. 

Writing for a public forum can free and benefit you in so many ways. All you need to do is take the first step.