Keep calm and carry on blogging

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02 October 2013 by Helen O'Grady
Professionalism is hard. When, like today, after two hours editing lesson plans, an intimate hour with the laminator, 32 paintings of the sea (with approximately 32 litres of paint!), a lengthy and somewhat irrelevant conversation with a seven year old about King Kong and an over-reliance on caffeine only marks 1pm, professionalism is really hard.

It is important therefore to have an outlet through which to vent, to channel the often daily frustrations and, moreover, to share these experiences with others- not merely educational professionals, but with parents, outsiders and onlookers, without feeling under scrutiny.

Blogging offers an immediate, convenient and accessible way in which teachers can both provide insight into the challenges of school life, as well as share the fun, inevitable laughter and good practice that occurs everyday in so many classrooms.

In the increasingly busy timetable of teachers, NQT’s and students, ATL Future* members have found that blogging has been an instrumental tool for reflection; enabling an ongoing record of successes, failures, anecdotes and advice.

Teachers inherently think (and over-think) their practice and often wonder how things may be improved. An open and honest forum through which to discuss and disseminate the day can provide valuable feedback which may facilitate continuing professional development.

Conversations about school life are already prevalent within many staffrooms, playgrounds- and pubs- however the act of writing down, redrafting and publishing these ideas can both challenge and reaffirm our personal teaching philosophies.

Showcasing ourselves on such a public platform brings with it necessary caution, however also increases the potential audience. Too often educational debates and news stories are clouded by the perspective of those far-removed from the classroom.

By opening up our computers and classrooms through blogging we allow teachers voices to be at the forefront instead. So in times of both despair and delight, remember to keep calm, and carry on blogging.

*ATL Future is the sector of ATL made up of students and newly qualified members. Read about some of their experiences in their workplaces on the “Secret Teacher” blog or check back here for more comment.

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