Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Blogging

I've been teaching for three years now. That isn't a very long time at all, indeed the first of those three years was my PDE (H.Dip) year. So the thought crossed my mind that it might be a bit rich of myself to start putting my ideas and thoughts about learning and teaching on to a blog when I still have so much to learn. Maybe some people would think so. But if I were to encounter a student doubting him or herself in a similar way, I would tell them not to let those doubts decide what they do. So I've no excuse for letting mine!

I taught for one year in a mainstream school and for two (and counting) at an alternative education centre. The things I've learned in those three years have helped me to become a better teacher, and a better person. I learned these things not just from the H.Dip program, not just from senior colleagues, but from my students as well. That's the thing about education - it's not merely teachers teaching students, it's people learning from people. My students learn from me, and I learn from them. That's the way I always want it to be, and that's the way it should be.

So one of the reasons I decided to start this, against the somewhat dour advice of the doubting voice in my head, was to write down for myself what I've learned, so that it isn't merely swimming around in my increasingly forgetful mind. Teachers are trained to reflect from Day 1 of their teaching practice: what worked in this lesson? What didn't? What can I do better? As frustrating an experience as writing those reflections could sometimes be every night, it's something that all teachers should remember to keep doing. We can all do better. There's no such thing as a perfect teacher, but we can try!

When I first set this site up two years ago, I intended it for use in my classes, and didn't put much thought into it beyond that. The fact that it became so popular (over 340,000 views in total since August 2012) and that it has received such positive and encouraging feedback is amazing and also very humbling. I became a teacher to help people, so knowing that the work I've done on this site has been doing just that makes it more than worthwhile. I hope that what I write here will prove worthwhile too - teachers have so much to say, and we should all be saying it!

The new school year starts in two weeks. It will bring with it challenges, opportunities, successes, failures, laughs and drama. And not just for me - for everyone. Students, teachers, parents... we're all part of the same world. What will we learn from each other this year?

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