Writing and blogging about my teaching (practically and especially theoretically) is very comfortable for me. I am passionate about writing, and I am distanced enough from my viewer/reader/listener that I find it naturally easy to share my professional thinking. I appreciate feedback, but my main purpose for writing has not been to seek this out, and I have processed feedback more as a reflection of my writing and ideas as opposed to of my practice.
Over the past few months, however, I have been forced into the discomfort of being public as a teacher—of exposing my actual teaching practices in action to evaluation and critique. This process has transitioned my thinking in a few ways. For one, I feel much more comfortable now with teaching in front of others (whereas before I would have rather shut the door so no one else can see me struggle through the act/art of teaching my students). I now know that I am able to tune out my observers and still be present with my students (which is very important to me), and the feedback I have received from them has been incredibly valuable, informing my further/future practice in critical ways. That said, this recent experience with publicizing my practice has also made me view my writing/blogging in a different light. Now that I have received valuable feedback from my applied practice, I find myself wanting to take the feedback from my written reflections/ponderings and apply it beyond my writing to my actual teaching practice.
In terms of my digital professional community, I have not made much progress in developing and initiating cycles of feedback and ongoing discussion. However, in my social professional world, I have seen tremendous growth in my openness (and eagerness) to accept and seek out critical feedback. Although this has not transferred deeply into my digital professional networks (for many reasons, time being a primary force), it has transformed my perspective and mindset regarding the value of these networks. I envision myself seeking out participation in professional conversations among digital communities as my practice progresses, and especially as I move into my first year of (certified) teaching.