Every month I read the magazine School Administrator cover to cover. Produced by the AASA – the American Superintendents’ Association it moves from big picture issues, to practical current topics to interesting slices of life from a variety of others who serve in the same role as me. It is my go-to professional journal. Over the last four years I have got to know its editor, Jay Goldman. Jay has been kind enough to take some of my blog posts and turn them into columns for the magazine, and I am right now working on a piece on school sports for an issue this summer. It is not just the relevance that draws me to the School Administrator Magazine but also the quality of writing – which goes back to the tone and standards set by the editor.
I had the chance to attend a session at the recent AASA National Conference on Education hosted by Jay Goldman and his colleague Jimmy Minichello on Publishing Professionally: Guidance for School District Leaders. I went there to look for tips on how better to take what I am writing every week for my blog and make it something that would work in a variety of other forms. And like many of you out there, I do have dreams of writing a book one day. It was a great session, but the key message I took away was one not really about writing for a magazine or books or even for blogging – the message I took away was Writing is Writing. Something that fits with a message I often share, “Good writing still matters.”
There is one particular slide that brought this message home for me:
If anything, being a good writer seems to be more important now than ever for teachers and administrators. And while Jay was speaking about the power of writing in the context of a magazine, this slide is a great slide to answer the question – why blog? The goal is not bloggers, for our students or the adults in the system – it is writers for the reasons that Jay outlines. What is true is that blogging allows the writing to be more dynamic and allows us all to be owners of our own publishing company.
In the end though, writing is still writing and all of us should take up the challenge to do more of it in our profession.