California Educator

December 2014

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O O K I N G F O R A F O R U M to share best prac- tices with fellow educators? Want to reflect on a lesson and see if others can relate or offer suggestions? Seeking a way to offer a view of classroom life, show off a nifty bulletin board, or communicate about technol- ogy, the Common Core and other topics with the outside world? If so, blogging is a terrific way to extend your voice and influence beyond the four walls of your classroom. All it takes is time, a platform and some blogged determination to create inter- esting material. Here are some CTA members who blog on various topics. L FOR TEACHER BLOGGERS, e globe's e globe's the limit Martha Infante, United Teachers Los Angeles "Poverty kicked my ass growing up," says Martha Infante. Her blog Don't Forget South Central is a constant reminder of challenges faced by those in South Central Los Angeles, an inner-city neighborhood where she teaches history at Los Angeles Academy Middle School. This no-holds-barred blogger blasts her district's former superintendent John Deasy, as well as LAUSD's decision to choose iPads over hiring teachers and counselors in schools. She takes on "reformers" who seek to privatize public education. Her focus on equity includes poverty, students with special needs, school funding and fair treatment for teachers. With more than 100,000 hits on her blog, including fol- lowers from Europe, Israel and Russia, she defines her audience as members of the general public, who deserve to know what is happening in schools, and politicians, so they can make better decisions. I STARTED BLOGGING BECAUSE… we lost 23 teachers at my school in 2009, and I felt blogging was a form of activ- ism that allowed me to bring to the public's attention what a devastating impact layoffs were having on schools such as mine. MY DISTRICT'S REACTION… I do not have conversations with administrators about my blog. I make it clear that I blog on my own time. I've gotten nothing but positive responses from parents, because they want the same things that I do, such as more resources and more equity. BLOGGERS I FOLLOW INCLUDE… José Vilson, an "Educolor" activist from New York who blogs from the perspective of a teacher of color ( users/jose-vilson), and Sabrina Stevens, a teacher in Washington, D.C., who blogs about education policy ( @ By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin Feature 18

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