The 3 best blog posts I’ve ever read.

Posted on October 3, 2015. Filed under: Blog on Blogging, Christian, Ed800, teaching and learning | Tags: , |

There are so many influential blog posts out there. Probably millions. BUT if I were to choose my top three blog posts that have made the biggest impact on my life so far, it would be these three. I am going to summarize them, critique them a bit, and tell you how they have impacted my life.

  1. A Professional Blog Post 

Dear Parent: About THAT Kid by Amy Murray

What It’s About: This is a blog post that has gone viral in recent years. It has showed up on my Facebook wall, I have seen it tweeted about and newspapers like the Washington post and Huffington Post have picked it up. It’s just that good. This post is about THAT kid.  The kid who bites, hits, and has to sit by the teacher’s feet during carpet time. You know the one. We all know the one.  Amy talks about how her hands are tied as a teacher when it comes to talking with parents about THAT other family’s child. She enlightens her readers about the struggles of THAT child’s home. She shares some heart warming moments about THAT child’s life. She explains how she isn’t able to tell parents what she is doing “about” that child, but that if their child ever becomes THAT child, she promises to keep their privacy and information confidential.

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Photo credit: Natesh Ramasamy

Why I like it: I joined a Twitter chat called #kinderchat my first year of teaching.  Amy @happycampergirl was one of its moderators and I learned so much from her.  I even stopped by her classroom for a visit that year when I was in Calgary. She is awesome. This post is an outflow of Amy’s pedagogy and beliefs. It challenges all of us as teachers, parents, and gossipers! It hits home with every single one of its readers.  The comments on her blog have gone over 1000. She has parents who consider their own child, THAT kid. They thank her and tell stories of THAT kid becoming a successful adult. This post gives people hope and it gives me perspective as a primary teacher.

What it makes me think about: When I was taking part in the #kinderchat world, some of us would reference “THAT kid in Kindergarten.” Someone ended up making a hilarious twitter handle @THATkidinkinder which would speak from THAT kid’s point of view. Maybe you just need a primary teacher’s sense of humour (because my husband didn’t think the tweets were that funny), but I remember loving them and laughing so hard.

Jim Benton Crayons

Photo credit: Jim Benton

More seriously, Amy’s blog post makes me think about one of my own blog posts I wrote when taking part in a #kinderchat challenge. The challenge was: “Imagine that a parent of one of your students, stumbling around the internet, happened to land on your blog. Not your class blog with your cute photos of all your munchkins and their amazing brilliant work. Your personal teacher-reflection blog, the one where your intended audience is mostly other teachers. Pretend that parent managed to figure out exactly who you were, and that you were their child’s teacher. What would you want that parent to know? What would you say to that parent? Write the letter that you would want that parent to read.” I remember really enjoying this blogging challenge as it made me really question what I was posting. It challenged me on what digital citizenship looks like for teachers. Is what we post safe? How are we protecting or putting ourselves out there? We probably shouldn’t be naive enough to think that parents AREN’T Googling us and reading what we write, right? After all, Henry Jenkins says that it’s the average citizens who have the ability to seize control over the media technology of today.

What I think this blog post could do better: The only thing I think Amy could have done to make this post better, is give credit to the teddy bear image she used in her post… unless it’s her teddy bear picture? Since her post went viral, she wrote an addendum at the bottom asking for others to give her credit or ask for permission before using her post. This is a completely valid request, and one that should be listened to. That said, unless she is the teddy bear’s photographer, maybe the person who took that picture would want credit given to them as well.

2. A Thoughtful Blog Post

Police and Media… A Wife’s Point of View by Brittany Klassen

What It’s About: Brittany writes a touching piece about what it’s like for her to watch police featured in the media. It’s different for her after all, as an RCMP officer’s wife.  She eloquently describes what it’s like to watch live video of shootings on repeat. She explains her horror at seeing images of police cars with bullet holes as headlines. She challenges how media outlets now allow here-say into their stories when explaining the character of a criminal.  She explains how police officers are not allowed to comment publicly on a criminal’s character, and she feels it undermines what the police have to say. In a culture where there are many articles, videos, and blog posts that offer information to distrust police, she sides the other way and examines the absolute humanity of police officers. She questions if the media has just jumped on an already visible distrust of police, or if the media is fueling our society’s distrust for police.

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Photo credit: Jamie McCaffrey

Why I Like It: I like how Brittany “takes on the internet” in supporting police in a digital space that hasn’t been very fond of police over the past few years.  I like how she has brought a voice to police officers and their families.  She states how the police can’t publicly comment on lots of these issues because they are bound by their jobs to secrecy, privacy, and professionalism.  In their silence, she speaks up.  Her post emotionally connects with every person who has ever loved someone in a first responder’s uniform. She even has to defend her post because of all the hate she received in the comments.

What It Makes Me Think About: Her post makes me think about Danah Boyd’s article on Social Networks as Networked Publics: Affordances, Dynamics, and Implications. Boyd’s article talks about the structural affordances of networked publics. Boyd says, “Networked technologies introduce new affordances for amplifying, recording, and spreading information and social acts.” This is exactly what Brittany was talking about. With the technology that is out there, someone with a cell phone camera can videotape a shooting/bombing. That type of video is “juicy” for the average consumer and so bigger media outlets pick up the video and it is now amplified through standard media outlets and social media outlets. Boyd suggests that networked publics become “persistent, replicable, scaleable, and searchable.” Boyd even says “what spreads may not be ideal.” Brittany is furthering this idea by suggesting that it’s not just the physical video or image spreading that isn’t ideal, but perhaps an ideology.

What I Think This Post Could Do Better: I think Brittany’s post is very well written, and very emotionally engaging. I admire her for taking a stance on what she believes strongly in, and standing up for her fellow RCMP members, friends, and family.  What I think she could have done better was tried to see the other side of the argument a bit more openly. She definitely admits to being biased in writing this post, but in light of what has come out in the media in regards to police brutality, I think this post might have been a place to gently address it. She speaks to the humanity of the police officers, but what this post may be missing is the humanity in all victims; victims of racism, victims of criminals, victims of police brutality, and all of the families hurting behind any of those senseless acts. All in all, I know her post has touched many, and I am thankful I am included in that number.

3. A Personal Connection Blog Post

In God We Trust by Jeremy Echols

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Photo credit: Anna

What It’s About: This blog was written right after Obama became president of the United States. Because Obama is a Democrat, many American Christians were upset over the election results. Not unlike Canada, different religious organizations tend to vote for certain political parties and the line between church and state is sometimes blurred. Jeremy Echols, being a Christian himself, basically calls out the American Christians and reminds them about what the Bible really says about governing authorities. He quotes verses like Romans 13:1 that says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” He reiterates to Christians that the Bible says it is God who gives humans authority, and He is in charge, so stop freaking out if “your guy” didn’t become president.

Why I Like It: I like this post because it made a huge impact on my life. I stumbled across it shortly after the American election in 2008, and I was so impressed by his wisdom in this matter, I commented on the post.  I said, (typos and all)

“Hello! I am not from the Us, but Canada and I just want to say I am so pleased to hear you faith in the One who does control elections. Thank you for quoting scripture and bringing it back to God… because when it comes down to it, He is the one who gives men and women the authority. Thank you for blessing my heart today”

Jeremy was encouraged by my comment and ended up adding me to Facebook. At the time, he was interning at a church in Seattle, and over the next few months he really challenged my husband and I with what church looked like for us.  We had a friend’s wedding in Seattle the next spring, and so while we were in Seattle, we met up with Jeremy and his wife for dinner. We talked about God, church, church politics, and what it looks like for both of us in our respective countries.  My husband and I had driven to Seattle, and it was Jeremy and his wife who gave us a lot to talk and pray about on the long drive home.  In fact, it was enough, along with God’s prompting, that when we got home, we decided to switch churches and start going to a new church plant in the city called The Compass.  We have now called The Compass our home church for the last 6 years, and we couldn’t be happier. It has challenged us with what it really means to “be a Christian,” and though we are far from having all the answers, we have loved journeying with others who are trying to figure it out too. It’s hilarious because every time someone asks us how we ended up at such a small church like The Compass, I have to start with, “Well it all started with this blog about Obama…”

What It Makes Me Think About: The Canadian federal election is coming up, and I have been seeing many Facebook and Twitter posts about the election, and it has come down to some very disgusting campaigning. I loved this one article I read that pointed out all the religious intolerance, and how people are so willing to share and “like” racist articles that aren’t rooted in truth, but rather fear and misunderstanding.

Photo Credit: Kat Angus Buzz Feed Canada

Jeremy’s post has me thinking that I might be writing a similar post to his after this election if “the right party” doesn’t get in.  I know people are going to be mad no matter what the result, so maybe I should just start writing the post now! The thing I love about democracy is that whoever gets voted into power after the election on October 19th, will be our new leader.  It is our job as citizens to respect and support our government no matter what the party. It doesn’t mean we have to agree with all of the decisions, and it doesn’t mean we no longer have a voice, but the point of a democracy is that majority wins. After October 19th, we need to adjust our attitude and think about ways that we can help and support the government from the bottom up to make this country the best country it can be, regardless of who voted for, or didn’t vote for.

What I think this post could do better: I really liked that Jeremy used some “in text” visual citations that drew attention to the main points. I thought this made the post easier to read.  What I think Jeremy could have done better was use some video or images to make this post a little more visually appealing. His title is engaging and obviously enticed me to find his blog 7 years ago, but perhaps some visuals could have enticed even more people.

Well folks, these are my top three favourite posts. What do you think?

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[…] This week I watched part 1 of the show, and I am going to summarize and critique it.  I will use the same structure as my last post, the 3 Best Blog Posts I’ve Ever Read. […]


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