Thursday, 26 July 2012

Why I blog

Right. So here's the infamous first post. Well, I say first post but I have experienced blogging* in a previous life as a PR executive. I've now decided to proceed to the dark side again but this time in the guise of a teacher.

It took me a while to decide to get back into blogging for various reasons. The main reason was I did not see the point in it. A teacher is there to help progress the learning of students, not there to pontificate about educational matters. The reason I blogged previously was, first and foremost, to network; I managed to get in contact with experienced professionals, University Professors and even a couple of CEOs at multinational firms. I got my first job, managed to get headhunted and was asked to present at a University fair all through the exposure my blog gave me. Why does a teacher need this kind of exposure and network?

Another reason was time. During my NQT year, I was adamant that I should have some spare time to have some kind of social life at times and a decent blog should have regular posts; something that I could not commit to. Additionally, could I not use the potential time spent blogging doing something more useful with my practice? One colleague recently remarked that blogging teachers should not have the time to blog. This time could be better spent on planning, marking and every other job that a teacher has to somehow fit into their professional life. By writing inane thoughts on my practice, I could be actually harming it and having a detrimental effect.

Lastly, something which scared me last time I wrote a blog, was the idea that I would not be able to contribute anything worthwhile. Over the last few months I have been 'collecting' blogs' feeds which I now follow religiously. There's far too many to name (over fifty!) but I often view these bloggers as demigods with their SLT positioning, years of experience and inspirational ideas. How am I going to compete with their thoughts?!

Why on earth did I write this blabbering first post then? Because all those reasons are tosh.

A teacher is still there to network just as a PR executive is. However, the teacher's reasons for networking are for ideas and resources. I have been reading all those blogs and following all 200+ educators on twitter because this personal network has helped me no end when it comes to problems with my practice or giving me ideas for future lessons. I don't necessarily need the exposure but I would like to share my thoughts and ideas with other like-minded individuals to see what they think on things that matter to me. Social media allows me to do that.

Time is obviously still an issue. However, it is the summer holidays so I have a grace period of six weeks to write some posts. In regards to having better things to do with my time, I would argue that blogging is great way to actually develop your teaching practice. During my PGCE, a lot of time was spent on reviewing lessons taught. Similarly, we often read about how students must be reviewing their learning progress periodically during the lesson as well as a considerable amount of time spent at the end of the lesson assigned to this. Why does a teacher not do the same? A teacher should have time to spend thinking about what went well with their lessons, what could be improved and how they could do this. A blog allows a teacher to do this with other teachers commenting on these matters to help the teacher improve their own practice.

Finally, I am not here to 'compete' with other bloggers. This is a place for me to formulate my thoughts on my practice; if other educators read it, enjoy it and even venture to comment on posts all the better. A lot of the blogs are intimidating in how brilliant and useful they are. But I'm sure those blogs were conceived and developed in much the same way as this one: to help those individuals with their own teaching practice.

That is why I have (re)started blogging.

*previous blog is now (thankfully) deleted.

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