So, I knew for sure that I loved blogging and writing for an audience. I had made the leap in to blogging and there was no looking back.
Writing from the Heart:
So, having other people ask me to write something for them really did let me step up and develop my writing more than I realised it would. I started to feel like I really wanted to share my personal development a little more. Starting out as a teacher was the hardest thing I ever did. And the best thing I ever did. The first two years of teaching were so, so hard. I have never felt to stressed or learnt so much on so many levels in such a short space of time. But I loved it! What is wrong with me? Anyway, because it was never just something that was easy for me I suppose I wanted to share my struggle with others and let them know that it is ok to not be a natural, to struggle and to not be perfect. I feel like so many hide their struggles, or choose to forget them, and I just wanted to be honest about it. I wanted people to know - you will be ok... if this is what you love and you want to put the work in it is so worth it. The posts below are all about me finding my passion, working hard and starting to find my way in this crazy world of teaching. (With one for my Y11 pupils thrown in for fun.)
Don't Forget Your Roots
A couple of my blogs had got a lot of attention and sparked a lot of discussion on line which was great but I felt the need to get back to writing about practical in-class teaching again to refocus myself on the pupils and lesson planning - because after all that is why we are all in this game.
Broadening My Horizons:
My first blog in the list below is my single favourite piece I have ever written. I have used it with my pupils in class to analyse blogs in preparation for their iGCSE exam - which was scary - but I really feel this blog and I wanted them to know that stuff. I also got involved in a coupe of very exciting projects and wrote about them. I co-organised and hosted SLTcamp with the formidable +Stephen Lockyer which was immense and a really special thing to be a part of. I also wrote again for the Guardian and was asked to write a guest chapter for +TeacherToolkit Ross Morrison McGill's first book - which was A-MAZING. TT and SL you two rock and I have a lot to thank you for :-)
Dabbling in Digital Learning:
IN my first SLT role, I had the opportunity to take on the role of digital learning coordinator and loved every minute of it. I had put forward the idea of developing this in the school where I was working at the time. I wanted to improve what we were doing as a result of going on an amazing SSAT course where by I was able to visit five outstanding schools around the UK. One of those was leaps and bounds ahead of any school I have visited in terms of it's digital learning leadership. I met Kirsty Tonks at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Birmingham and she, and the school itself, was an inspiration to me. I wrote a number of pieces exploring and gathering ideas for my colleagues on different areas of digital learning. I loved this part of my teaching and leadership journey. (With one post for NQTs and trainee teacher thrown in just for fun.)
Mulling over Leadership
Writing about leadership is not an easy thing to do. As I said in my first blog post on leadership "For me, leadership is so complex that you have a duty to be mindful, honest and to consider your impact. Because of these points, I feel a great responsibility whenever I go to press the publish button." This is so true. And, for me, it is what I keep in focus whenever I write online or speak in public. Becasuse it is not all about what you think or feel - you have a great responsibility to all of your staff. There are some great, very experienced Headteachers who write beautifully and honestly about leadership and they really have earned their stripes - I hope one day to be as wise and measured as they are. I was daunted writing about leadership only a few years into it being a part of SLT... but I figured, my experience is as valid as anyone elses' and I really want to share it as I have other experiences as a teacher. Anyway, I wrote about it - I wrote my story - and I was really glad I did because it is important. I need to write some more on this because boy do I have more to write. :-)
And so my second year of blogging came to an end. What a year it was!
Thank you to everyone who was a part of my journey and supported and challenged me along the way. It been emotional :-)
I miss you. I'm on my way back to you I promise...