I’ve posted earlier about Lani and the difference she has made for my blogging students this year. Another person making a difference is Bronwyn G.
Bronwyn G’s profile tells me she is female, a writer, and from Australia. I could not find an email address on A Witness to Tolerance to write to her. I wanted to thank her for her comments. What a writer she is! You know, this is one of the best aspects of blogs, it’s the people you meet and then the conversations, connections, and learning that develop. I follow a lot of blogs, especially the student blogs and I have found Bronwyn G’s “blog-prints” on many of them. I’ve read her comments to these students: Chloe, Jadae, Jason, Derrick, Graciela, Marisela, Angel, Jose-Juan, Zachary, (on Zachary’s note the additional comment to his mom – awesome!) and Ellie.
I’m sure there are more. Of course, I have to follow them. I love her responses. She is so encouraging yet pushes the students to think and kindly offers gentle suggestions for improvement. She’s offered her thoughts on mine as well, like here when I was thinking about podcasts. That is so appreciated! She even extended a warm welcome to Miss Neville, a young teacher just starting a school blog.
Her blog is also a great model to teach writing. I plan to use her opening paragraph of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Johnathan Safran Foer as an example to show students how to really hook a reader. Her comments always lead me in different directions along paths I hadn’t anticipated. This is not aimless surfing but the following of connections and seeing how we learn from one another. I can’t foresee the results but almost invariably a new thought or a way of applying this learning will emerge.
There’s nothing more motivating for young bloggers than having mentors who are really listening, caring and responding. I wanted to extend a personal thank you to both Lani and Bronwyn G. I think they should both consider writing their suggestions for commenting. They are exceptional! I also think we need to spend more time teaching our students the value and the power of commenting back and forth on blogs. I’ve experimented with comment starters and had discussions about comments but I plan to do more exploring in this area.