Throughout this semester, I have had the opportunity to grow as a writer and educator. The use of a learning log has helped me to reflect upon given text, as well as question specific issues/views more thoughtfully and purposefully. The maintaining of the learning log allowed me to visually see my progress throughout the semester, as well as to meet the student learning outcomes outlined in the class syllabus.
As I reflect upon the time spent in developing a learning log, I feel that it has really helped me in thinking out the given readings, as I read the given text. I was more aware of how I was reading, and what I was reading about. I began to ask myself questions of how I would implement certain instructional techniques in my classroom, as well as how the various genres would help to facilitate my own writing, as well as my students. The learning log was a way to help guide my thinking and questioning as I read, supporting my thinking and questioning. As I began my readings, planning out how I would read the given text/ what I would focus most of my attention on, I also began to notice that I was doing the same with my writing. Prior to my blogs, I would plan out the specific topics/questions that I wanted to address. I not only became aware of my own reading, but also upon my writing as I developed my learning log entries.
Looking over the student learning outcomes, it is obvious to me that my greatest challenge in the development of my learning log was keeping in mind the role of purpose and audience. I really struggled with this, because I don’t think that I was ever really aware of these two roles throughout past writing pieces. However, as I became more aware of role of purpose and audience in writing, I began to notice a difference in the way I developed my learning log entries. The learning log forced me to identify a reason for my writing, guiding my decisions and questions. Through this, I was also able to identify an audience for whom I was writing for. I had to constantly keep in mind that I was trying to target a specific audience through my writing. This also helped to guide and shape the way I addressed specific topics and questions. As I learned about the various genres used to help writers communicate their idea, I was able to use this knowledge in directing the purpose of my entries. The learning log forced me to think of my audience and what I wanted to say, just as the many mentor texts did through their pieces. Although my entries were not in the form of a poetic verse or letter, I was see the many ways that writers use genre to help them guide what they want to express and communicate to their audience. The learning log was a great way to support and use my personal language in expressing opinions on given topics (Tompkins, 2012, p. 6).
Although I had used learning logs in the past for other courses, I don’t think that I ever really understood the importance of using blogging as a way to express yourself, and what you have learned. Blogging allowed me the chance to reflect upon myself and my learning this far. It was an authentic way for me to apply what I learned and relate it to real-world situations. I was no longer just writing for my teacher, or even for myself but for a real audience that extended beyond the classroom. It allowed me to virtually conference with my teacher and peers, while also allowing the chance to self review my own progress.