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Finding My Voice

October 8, 2011

Ever since I was a little girl I loved to write. I savored each and every writing opportunity I would have. I was even part of the school paper for several years. What’s more, my great uncle is a poet and once wrote a poem for me, saying I would be a poet one day too. I used to share my writings with him. I would get a kick out of hanging out with him, just talking about our writing. And, I was only 9 years old…

Years passed by and I wasn’t exactly going through the best of times. Unfortunately I totally lost my inner voice. I couldn’t write anymore. Even though I tried and tried, words wouldn’t come. I had writer’s block for several years.

As I became older and more connected with my passions, teaching and technology, the writer inside me seemed to be waking up. Words kept swirling inside my heart and my head. I even signed up for this WordPress account, but I still couldn’t write… Something inside me was changing… yes, but I still couldn’t get my thoughts out.

As I got more and more involved with my Personal Learning Network, I began commenting on other blogs. Boy, it took me so long to write a comment! But I was just thrilled words were finally coming out. One day, I received a message from my friend, Pernille Ripp. She was asking me to write a guest post for her blog, she asked me to share an Aha Moment. I was so honored and humbled. Despite being thrilled about it, I was also absolutely freaked out but I admire her so much that I couldn’t say no and dived into the guest post adventure. Magically words began to flow and I wrote my best piece ever. A story that changed me and my teaching. As I began getting feedback, questions and thoughts from other people, I felt the strong urge to start writing again. I felt this deep need to share my passion, my classroom adventures and my thoughts.

And that’s how my blog, About a Teacher, was born. I haven’t blogged as much as I’d love to, but blogging has definitely changed me in so many ways. I’ve found my voice, I’ve found myself. Thanks to blogging, I have been able to reconnect with the writer in me.

Furthermore, my teaching has changed too. Writing for an audience helps me deepen my reflection. I know my classroom walls have been knocked down thanks to blogging. The happenings in my classroom are now shared with many other educators from all over the world.

I’m not just a teacher in a classroom anymore. I’m a teacher who blogs, which means that, not only has my writing an audience, but also my teaching does too. It’s powerful to know that amazing educators from all around the world are interacting with me. It’s amazing how much I get to learn from them. I also find reading other blogs absolutely beneficial. Conversations happening in blogs are powerfully inspiring and always challenge me to think differently. I’m a learner and a teacher. Blogging connects both aspects in an immensely enriching way.

Yes, blogging has helped me rediscover my voice but what’s more important is the fact that blogging keeps inspiring me to step away from my comfort zone. It also makes sharing what happens in our classrooms and our success stories possible.  Leaving our fears behind and reflecting on our teaching are essential in a world that keeps changing. Stepping away from our comfort zones and sharing what we do are essential if we are to transform education.

I have written this post as a response to the Rockstar Meme – How Blogging Changed Your World. I would like to invite these 5 amazing bloggers to share their story. Can’t wait to hear them!
Edna Sackson
Joan Young
Kelly Tenkely
Nicholas Provenzano
Tania Ash

52 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2011 2:39 pm

    Oh Gret – we are so lucky that you have found your voice again, as it is such a pleasure to follow your blog!
    In THIS post you really described how I feel about blogging too!
    Thank you!

    • October 9, 2011 8:52 pm

      Aww Thanks so much Naomi! Glad my post described how you feel about blogging too. It’s such a wonderful adventure! 🙂

  2. October 8, 2011 3:04 pm

    Wonderful, you found your inner voice. Would like to hear from you again soon…

  3. seburnt permalink
    October 8, 2011 3:14 pm

    Writing has always been a passion of mine too. I often wrong songs when I was a teenager, complete with piano accompaniment. I wrote short stories, but almost never finished any of them because there were so many plots in my head swirling around, I usually bored of a current one and moved on to another–a million beginnings with no end.

    When I came back to Canada, my goal was to write novels or poetry or articles. I continued to write songs with a friend of mine, but with teaching, that writing became channeled into lesson plans.

    Still now, whenever I go into the bookstore, I breathe in the words, the drama, the action and am inspired to continue my stories, but I never do. Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time blogging. Maybe that’s holding me back from fiction.

    • October 9, 2011 9:15 pm

      Wow Tyson! Thanks for sharing your story with me. You got me thinking! Could blogging be holding you back from fiction? Why don’t you start your own fiction blog? If fiction is your passion, you should embrace it! Have you seen this TED talk: I love this talk. Hope you enjoy it!

      You made me think about my own writing. I’ve always enjoyed writing non-fiction stories, poems or letters. When I was 10 years old I even wrote a letter to Argentinean Citizens. I don’t know how or why that letter was read by someone in the government. On the letter I challenged people to stop talking about dead people or past events and move forward. When I was a teenager I used to write letters. I used to have lots of notebooks packed with unsent letters. 🙂

      Hope you can write fiction again. I’d love to read your work! Thanks again Tyson!

      • seburnt permalink
        October 9, 2011 10:27 pm

        Thanks for the encouragement, Greta. In fact, last year, I did blog some fiction I was writing based on a word-of-the-week I got by e-mail. You can see them here – they are called flash fiction. Quite the community online as a matter of fact.

        • October 10, 2011 11:03 am

          Thanks so much for sharing your blog Tyson! I’m checking it out right now. Love the flash fiction idea! It’s such a great training to write short stories based on the word of the day! Just enjoyed reading two of your stories. Hope you start writing fiction again. You’re a great writer!

  4. October 8, 2011 3:22 pm

    I am so glad you have once again found your voice. Each one of us needs to take time and just catch our breath and begin again. You are so much more than just a writer to me. You are a dear friend.

    • October 9, 2011 9:19 pm

      aww JoAnn! Thank you! I agree with you about the taking time. Giving ourselves time is so important. You’re a dear friend to me too. So grateful for your friendship!

  5. October 8, 2011 6:07 pm

    I love this post! I too, used to write all of the time when I was younger. The more involved I became in education, the less time I’ve had to write. This year I’ve started blogging about teaching and what’s going on my classroom and it’s made such a big difference. Thank you for writing this!

    • October 9, 2011 9:21 pm

      Thank you Laura! Blogging about what happens on our classrooms is amazing! I’ll check out your blog 🙂

  6. October 9, 2011 6:29 am

    And woooohoooo for you finding your inner voice, Greta! You are a wonderful person and educator and I am sure many many people will join me in the opinion that we are so happy to see you blogging, read all your posts full of love for the kids you teach and for education in general.

    We are very lucky to have connected with you on Twitter – and it will be great if we ever have the chance to meet face to face : )

    Thanks so much Greta,

    • October 9, 2011 9:23 pm

      Wow Vicky! Thanks so much for your words. It means a lot coming from you. I’m the lucky one to have connected with you! You have so much to do with my blogging story! I seriously hope we can meet face to face one day. Thanks for your constant support Vicky! Love learning with/from you! 🙂

      • October 10, 2011 3:41 am

        Me too, Greta! I learn so much from you. I also will be very happy to meet you face-to-face. It will be a super day!

        Big hugs,

  7. October 9, 2011 1:32 pm


    This is a beautiful post, reflecting the incredible person and educator you have shared with all who know you. You inspire me so much when you blog; your passion is contagious and fires me up to continue my own journey of learning with my students.
    I look forward to the day we meet in person so I can give you a great big hug! I am so fortunate to know you.
    Thanks for the tag as well. I am working on my own post now!
    Take care,

    • October 9, 2011 9:27 pm

      Wow Joan! Thank you! I feel the same way about your writing. In fact, you have so much to do with me blogging and sharing what happens in our classroom. So grateful for your friendship and support!
      I look forward to that day too. I’m sure we’ll meet soon!
      I just read/watched your post and it’s wonderful! Thank you for sharing your story!
      Big hugs!

  8. October 9, 2011 3:09 pm

    Writing has always been a passion of mine also, I find it is a kind of release for my inner creativity. Thank you for sharing this it motivates me to be more passionate in my writing.

    • October 9, 2011 9:30 pm

      Thank you Meredith! I agree with what you said about writing being a release for our inner creativity. It makes me feel so good! I’m glad my post has motivated you to keep pursuing your passion! 🙂

  9. October 10, 2011 6:32 pm

    Greta, I absolutely love this post! I’m so glad that you found your voice and started blogging. You have so many wonderful things to share. I learn a lot from you, and I think that your students are very fortunate to have such a thoughtful, caring teacher that really does want to give them your best each and every day.


    • October 10, 2011 6:59 pm

      aww Aviva! Thank you so much! I learn a lot from you too. You inspire and challenge me to become a better educator. So thankful for your support! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  10. October 11, 2011 9:15 am

    Hi Greta! Couldn’t agree more … blogging gives us a voice, enabling us to share our thoughts and experiences with the world. For me, as a new teacher, it has been empowering … and it is nice to know that I am not alone 🙂

    • October 12, 2011 9:30 am

      Thanks Michael! Couldn’t agree more! It’s nice to know we are not alone! 🙂

  11. October 11, 2011 4:00 pm

    I love your blog. It’s the stories you tell. Just like this one.

    • October 12, 2011 9:33 am

      Wow Dave, I’m humbled. Thanks so much for your words!

  12. October 12, 2011 10:13 pm

    Great post and so happy to hear that you have found your voice! It’s a great feeling when you know that you have reconnected and reenergized with something that you really believe in.

    What really resonated with me was when you wrote, “blogging keeps inspiring me to step away from my comfort zone.” I couldn’t agree more! Not only does blogging keep me on my toes but reading the blogs of others inspires me to be better, be a risk taker like them and try new paths like I see so many others do. It’s this type of sharing and learning that builds all of us into better and more responsive teachers.

    Thank you for adding your voice to the others that I read and helping inspire me to do better every day!

  13. October 16, 2011 11:21 am

    Your school needs a chinese teacher? I’m on it. ^.^
    Anyway, it’s not easy to be a good teacher nowadays. Too political for comfort. Alot of Singaporeans want to migrate…

    It’s sad Singapore has come to this.

    Just dropping by.

  14. October 16, 2011 9:56 pm

    Great story. Great inspiration! 😀

  15. October 21, 2011 11:56 pm

    Hi Gret! I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I totally connected with you about losing your inner voice and not being able to write. As a student and lifelong lover of writing, I have found myself in several situations over the last couple of years where I “could not” write and, at times (as it sometimes goes when you forced writing assignments in college), I know I’m not doing my best. I am glad you found your inner voice. Maybe I’m a rapid cycler since I go in and out of these periods. However, since starting this class, where Dr. Strange has us commenting on blogs of educators, fellow classmates and students from around the world, I have had no problem coming up ways to express myself. I have thought that maybe there is some kind of link (or perhaps just inspiration) between reading other people’s blogs and being able to write your own. That being said, I really appreciated when you said, “I’m a learner and a teacher. Blogging connects both aspects in an immensely enriching way.” I am now following Blog 4 Edu on Twitter and Facebook, as well as TwitClass, which I also found very resourceful. Thanks for sharing, Gret!

  16. Lindsey Dunnam permalink
    November 11, 2011 6:35 pm

    My name is Lindsey, and I am currently taking EDM 310 with Dr. Strange at the University of South Alabama. I really enjoyed reading your post, and I am glad to know you found your voice. I have never blogged before taking this class, and I find that it is hard. I hope that if I keep working at it I will soon find my inner voice.
    Thanks for sharing.

  17. November 16, 2011 3:23 pm

    I loved this story when I first read it a month ago. I love it still!
    It puts a smile on my face 🙂

  18. January 10, 2012 7:26 pm

    My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
    Have a great day!

  19. Angela Smith permalink
    January 29, 2012 7:08 pm

    Ms. Sandler,
    Its awesome that you were able to rekindle your passion for writing. I find myself having the problem with having so much to say, but not knowing exactly how to say it. I am new at blogging, so I hope I too will experience the amazement that comes with blogging. Thank you for sharing your story with us 🙂


  20. February 15, 2012 11:18 am

    each time i used to read smaller content which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this article which I am reading at this place.

  21. February 27, 2012 3:23 am

    Ms. Greta,

    My name is Eleanor Pomerat and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I have often had difficulty in writing, as well. I find that blog posts can take me hours to write and leaving a comment can take nearly an hour! I have not read your post “my best piece ever,” but I will make sure that I do, as I thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    You wrote that blogging has changed how you teach, as you reflect more deeply when writing for an audience. I wonder, does it still take you a long time to write a blog post?

    I love that you write about how we need to “step out of our comfort zones.” I completely agree with you; I think that in order for wonderful things to happen in the classroom, we have to have let go and simply let them happen.

    Eleanor Pomerat
    My Blog

  22. February 27, 2012 10:20 pm

    What an inspiring story! It’s always incredible to me how writing can open up whole new experiences, thoughts, and communities–all you have to do is put the pen to the paper (or the fingers to the keyboard, in our case).

  23. March 16, 2012 8:51 am

    Woww…Very inspiration story. I love it…:-)

  24. August 13, 2012 2:26 pm

    So glad you found your inner voice again! Like you said, it’s all about connected with your passions. Great story!

  25. Ashley Franklin permalink
    September 1, 2012 4:08 pm

    Reading your blog has inspired me to start writing again as well. I am a student at the Univ. of South Alabama, and I’m currently enrolled in Dr.Strange’s EDM310 Class and blogging is a big part of this class. So hopefully I will get my creative juices flowing just as you have. I plan to follow up on your posts not because of any requirements set by my school, but because I actually like reading your blogs. Can’t wait to read more!

  26. October 23, 2012 11:44 pm


    My name is Lauren and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 course at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I have been assigned to your blog for an activity in this course.

    I feel lucky to have been graced with your blog in particular. This post is wonderful! I agree with you entirely when you said that blogging has given you more of a reason to put deeper meaning and emotion into what you write. Having an audience is definitely a push, but a positive one!

    Although, I enjoyed reading this post, I am even more thrilled that you left a link to your post titled, “Love Them Before You Know Them”. This was such a beautiful piece. It offered me great advice as I am soon to begin the early years of my teaching career. The way that you took the time to show him love, really shows how far you can get when you add a little love and patience into the mix. Just imagine what the world would be like if all teachers took the time and energy to put forth into all children with problems similar to this.

    I am going into special education and this offers me great advice on dealing with problem students and putting forth the energy and patience that it takes to be successful in the classroom.

    I think the biggest reward of all is knowing that you made a difference in his life. Nothing will ever replace that. I love the picture that he drew too. It melted my heart!

    Thanks for sharing this and keep up the good work!

  27. John Carpenter permalink
    January 22, 2013 7:10 pm

    Hi. My name is John, and I am also a student of Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. Reading your blog has allowed me to realize that sometimes writing or expressing things just does not come natural to all people. Some had the ability to write, some have the ability to write, and some strive for the ability to become a good writer. I fit into the category of striving. I know that with time and effort the ability to become a good writer will come. Your blog was very inspirational for me. I look forward to reading more.

  28. Michael Breckenridge permalink
    February 21, 2013 4:37 am

    Hey, My name Is Michael Breckenridge I am a student at South Alabama, and I am really glad I was assigned to read your blog. The reason being is because, your story is very inspiring. Before college I always hated writing and never enjoyed doing it. Once I got in to college something changed and now I am on pace to be an English Teacher. So once I read your post I was happy that you found something to rekindle your interest in writing. You have also made me realize that blogs aren’t just posts on a website that for some people blogs can open up the doors to what they love and how to do things better.

  29. April 15, 2013 12:43 am

    Hello, My name is Laura Carpenter and I am a student at the University of South Alabama. Writing has always been a passion of mine. It seems to be a talent I have. In high school, some of my writing was published in anthology books. I am glad you found a way to rekindle an interest in writing. I’ve always had trouble expressing myself verbally, but when I put pen to paper it’s like taking on a completely different identity. I decided to major in Elementary Education, but I kept my passion for writing by choosing to minor in English. I enjoyed reading your post.

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  33. October 9, 2013 12:42 am

    Hi there! I’m a newbie blogger. I can definitely relate with you. I’m also struggling with finding my voice. But through reading your post, this has made my conviction stronger to improve myself and voice out my views. There’s really no harm done. It’s just a matter of conquering your fears and accepting and learning from your mistakes.

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