So I have a blog.
Who am I? Teacher, keen baker, lover of the outdoors and person with a recently renewed enthusiasm for using technology in the classroom. It is half term just now and I am afforded time to bake and reflect. Bliss. So with cupcakes in the oven, a fruit cake cooling on the wire rack and breakfast bar mix ready and waiting in the tray I thought I’d set my mind to blogging as part of a recent personal challenge to explore and use unfamiliar technology. The hope is that this will lead to me integrating more of it into my classroom. In many ways though, I feel I am jumping on the band wagon far too late. Is it all a bit 90s? Does anyone really blog any more? The answer appears to be, yes they do! Perhaps though, people blog with more purpose these days. Indeed, WordPress were keen to impress upon me the importance of planning my blog with diagrams and bullet points. Gosh! It seems simple ad hoc wiffling about my life and times is no longer suitable literary fodder in a virtual world. So what will my blog be for?
Fellow teachers will know exactly what I mean when I say that every school staff room has a menopause corner. An unofficially designated area for moaning; a place where teachers (of both sexes and not always the same ones – we are all guilty of suffering from teaching menopause once in a while) congregate to moan about the woes of how hard our job is and how tired and worn down we are by the red tape, the admin and the behaviour of that testing bottom set! I cannot claim never to whinge (I’m only human) but I do try hard to remember that I believe teachers have the best job in world. Moreover, I think that we are privileged to do it. In my perfectionist world (all my crockery matches and I have oven gloves that are for display purposes only!) this means striving always to improve, change and challenge myself. In short, to ask of myself what I constantly ask of my kids. To do my best and to be the best I can be. This is easier said than done when the constraints of a busy term weigh heavy – I frequently fail but I hope that trying counts for something. I am also hoping that blogging will allow me some space to reflect positively, record successes and keep a record of changing teaching pedagogy.
It is a bit surprising to find myself doing this though I must admit. Whilst training to be a teacher, I was made to write a reflective diary for the first term. I wasn’t really sure why at the time. It seemed to be just one more administrative task to get in the way of actually teaching and learning how to teach! I didn’t really take it seriously. There seemed to be enough reflecting in the endless planning documents and target setting. I’m sure if I were brave enough to look back at it now, it would be full of ridiculously plebeian statements about how tired I was and how worried I was that the children didn’t like me! That’s something you soon stop worrying about. You move on to worrying that you’re doing a good enough job – that’s what we should be worrying about. Perhaps to reflect usefully, one needs more experience and to have tried things more than one way. Perhaps staff suffering from an acute attack of teaching menopause should be made to keep a reflective diary? It is true to say that only now (seven years in) do I really see how beneficial such a document might be. Not least because it will act as a record of things I am doing and save me trying to find space in my postage stamp of a flat for a plethora of notebooks and absent minded scribblings so I don’t forget things I have done – the good the bad and the ugly! So I have decided to give this a go. My blog will be a place to record such professional twitterings. Essentially it’s a blog for me. A blog to give me head space and cupboard space in equal measure. But hey, if I manage to spread some positive ideas once in a while into the bargain that would be great. Here goes…
Oh…and the cupcakes turned out pretty well by the way. Hope the blog is as therapeutic as the baking!