I don’t have a lot of time to pursue a lot of side interests. My fellow educators know that teaching is a full-time-and-a-half sort of job. However, by using an RSS reader (I have used Feedly ever since Google Reader was discontinued) I nevertheless engage regularly with a variety of topics that interest me: yoga, cooking, personal finance, photography, interior design, theology, and many others.
I am not an expert in any of these areas, but reading a little a few times a week over several years has contributed significantly to my knowledge. In conversations, I find myself frequently saying, “I read somewhere that…”. I will often find ways to include what I have learned into my classroom, giving richness to lessons that might otherwise fall flat. I think that many of my acquaintances think that I read and study more than I do, when in fact I spend no more than ten, maybe twenty minutes per day catching up on what appears in my Feedly reader. And most of that time is over coffee or in-between other tasks, so that the time spent is essentially none at all.
Here is an incomplete list of some of my favorite bloggers, by topic:
- Minimalism: Reading My Tea Leaves
- Personal Finance: Mr. Money Mustache
- Theology and Religion: Rachel Held Evans
- Exercise: Yoga with Adriene
- Travel: Snarky Nomad
- Interior Design: Little Green Notebook
- Nutrition and Health: Mark’s Daily Apple
Since I have already experienced the benefits of small doses of information over a long period of time, it is no trouble at all for me to imagine that I could do the same for my professional work as well. I look forward to discovering new friends and mentors that will challenge and encourage me in my teaching practice as much as I have in my personal life.