Reflections of the heart: An autoethnography of a literacy leader's online identity construction and change
Educational blogs, or edublogs, are ubiquitous in today’s society. National literacy organizations such as International Literacy Association (ILA) and National Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (NCTELA) post literacy resources and teaching tips on a daily basis. In 2013, the researcher became a contributor to this growing body of literacy knowledge with the creation of an edublog, Confessions of a Literacy Coach. In 2018, Google analytics confirmed Confessions of a Literacy Coach was visited by over 100,000 people from every continent, in over seventy-eight countries, and was routinely accessed by teachers, administrators, and other professionals. This qualitative study explored the researcher’s online identity construction and change as reflected in the edublog. Using autoethnography methodology, the researcher gave a highly personalized account to describe the insights gained from this journey. Through systematic analyzing, reflexive journaling, and support by artifacts, the researcher identified ways childhood experiences and beliefs shaped the message and tone of edublog entries, or posts. Furthermore, the researcher unexpectedly discovered how the social media site, Twitter, created a Community of Practice (CoP) among educators, curriculum directors, and district administrators when edublog posts became the topic of Twitter chats. Insights gleaned from the autoethnography will contribute to ongoing conversations about identity construction among veteran and novice teacher bloggers.