I started blogging in August of 2012.
I have always loved writing and always written in some form of another over my summer holidays because had the time to think that you just done't get during term time. I find my head is so full of classes, pupils, marking, lesson planning and general work stuff that even if I do have a spare hour here or there my mind is not really in the right place for my best writing a lot of the time. My holiday writing has always been a private pursuit... until then.
I'm not entirely sure how it happened but that summer I found my blogging self.
I started writing about everyday techniques and ideas I have enjoyed undertaking in my teaching. I just kept it simple. These blog posts were not mind-blowing or based in educational research but they were from the heart and sharing what I love doing in my classroom. I really enjoyed the process of thinking through and writing down what I do all the time, often without thinking about it. It made me reflect on what I enjoy and what works for me with the pupils. I kind of crystallised, focused my understanding of the 'why' behind it all. It was uplifting to reflect on all the things that make me happy in my day to day job.
1. Having Fun with Learning - Teaching Writing Through Games
2. Active Reading Strategies - Visual Notes and Character Bodies
3. Art in the English Classroom - Poetry and Painting
4. Marking Matters
I was really just enjoying writing for myself and sharing the posts on twitter for others to use the ideas if they thought they may be useful. I loved the immediacy of the feedback that blogging brought. Each time I published a new blog post I would have people coming back to me to ask questions, discuss their approaches and ideas of a similar nature and thank me for sharing. It was just such a lovely thing to be a part of. It was a really useful sounding board for my thoughts and I loved the ideas I was gathering to improve my practice from sharing what I already do.
A few months in I was asked to write a piece for the Guardian based on my Marking post as they had really like what they read. I was also asked by @TeacherToolkit (Ross Morrison McGill) to be a guest blogger for a series of blog posts he was undertaking at the time - The Thunks.
I cannot tell you how overwhelmed and honoured I was that they had shown an interest in my writing and my ideas. We are so isolated as teacher in our little classrooms, on our own in terms of other professionals most of the time, that I think we really do get used to not being seen, not getting feedback and not feeling appreciated. This is, in part, just the nature of the job we do. Blogging and Twitter is a really powerful network for bridging this gap.
And so 2012 came to a close and my first year of blogging was at an end. Through starting my blog I discovered and gained so much more than I ever expected.
I miss you.