As part of the Edublogs Teacher Blogging Challenge, I’ve been reflecting on, and discussing my blogging process with teachers around the world.
I have really enjoyed these conversations, as I have gained valuable constructive feedback on the layout, style, and content of my blog, as well as practicing my blog commenting skills.
As I’ve noticed a huge spike in readership as part of the Edublogs™ Teacher Challenge, I thought now would be a good time to ask for some reader feedback on the layout and navigation of A Relief Teacher’s Journey.
Sunset over Fremantle Harbour, Western Australia (Michael Graffin, 2010)
My Landing Page
The first thing you see when you arrive at my blog is my landing page. It underwent some major changes in late December 2010, as I revised my introduction to reflect the changes in my thinking and blogging processes over the previous 7 months.
I wanted people to know a little more about me, and why I was blogging … I didn’t want prospective readers put off by a cluttered screen when they came across my blog – a pet peeve as a reader of educational blogs. I also included a personal disclaimer for the first time, reinforcing the fact that my blog reflects my personal views, not those of my employers.
Page Navigation on A Relief Teacher’s Journey
I have also made significant changes to my Page Navigation bar, which has finally found its’ home above my blog introduction.
New - About Me page
Now, up until last week, my blog didn’t have an About Me page or a Classroom Management page. I didn’t know this topic was going to be covered in today’s Teacher Challenge; however, I recently realised that an effective page navigation system would help overcome some of the limitations of my preferred Blogger™ platform.
When I started A Relief Teacher’s Journey, I always intended to share my work with my prospective employers and colleagues. I wanted my blog to reflect my professional practice, pedagogical interests, and teaching expertise. Reading today’s Teacher Challenge post, and looking back at my Big Interview reflections), I now understand the importance of sharing a little about myself as an educator and blogger.
Since posting my About Me page last week, I’ve noticed a significant number of readers taking a look; and I’d love to get some feedback on its contents. Is there anything else you’d like to see / know about me? I’d appreciate any advice about publishing a personal photograph – I’m still not sure about the privacy angle. I’ve enabled comments on the page, so feel free to introduce yourself, and leave a link to your blog. I’ll look forward to reading your ideas.
Easing the navigation process
Now, as to my other pages. I created the Classroom Management page last week as a quick-find index of my classroom management posts. I also publish a list of my engagement in formal professional learning activities; and I’m currently contemplating a new index page focussing on my classroom teaching experiences and professional reflections.
As a wide reader of educational blogs, I find it very difficult to navigate several years worth of posts, and often bemoan the lack of a useful index. I don’t know how long this blog will be around in its current form, but I’d like to make it easy to navigate.
I’d appreciate a few suggestions and any constructive feedback from my fellow Challenge participants and blogger-mentors visiting A Relief Teacher’s Journey, particularly those coming here for the first/second time. Thankyou.