Welcome to the blog portion of the site! I’m going to be honest here–I’m not quite sure how this will go, but I’m going to start out giving it a shot. I used to abhor writing until I got into my Master’s program at LaSalle University. Suddenly, when I was writing about parts of history that interested, and even intrigued me (yes, I’m that nerdy), I began to truly enjoy the writing from process. The research, to the outlining and writing, and even the editing and revising processes became things I enjoyed doing. That said, I will never profess to be an outstanding writer (and my fellow OJRMS teacher Katie Dede can attest to that as she tore through man red pens in helping editing some of my papers), but I find that my thoughts are often more coherent when I get them down in writing first. So that’s what this part of my page is all about–helping me to reflect on a variety of topics so that my podcasts are better, more focused & more meaningful for all of us.
Over the past few years I have become increasingly introspective for a number of reasons, and one of the results has been a newly acquired journaling habit. I’ve listened to people like Ryan Holiday & Rick Alexander talk about all of the benefits of journaling for a while now, but I wasn’t sold on it until I found a system that worked for me–and that was from Dorothy VanderJagt in her book called Permission to Pause: A Journal for Teachers. After a few weeks of this systematic approach to journaling, I found the habit to be calming and enjoyable and even picked up a few other journals to use (a blank moleskin journal from Target & The Daily Stoic Journal: 366 Days of Writing & Reflecting on the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman), and I’ve decided it’s time to take some of my thoughts public.
My hopes are that this blog will help me to process some of the bigger thoughts I have on education and coaching & might reach people outside of my own school district. I started teaching middle school social studies in 2004 and currently serve as a Teacher on Special Assignment for technology integration in my building. After more than 15 years in the classroom I’ve finally started to realize a few things (mostly through my own mistakes and inspirations of others) and I thought it’s time to start sharing. With that, I hope you’ll join me in my journey–read the blog, follow me on Twitter (@Mr_Brilla), connect with me on Voxer (MikeBrilla) and listen to my podcast (My Best Lesson: Social Studies).