I published my first post on this blog exactly one year ago today! It was a tirade of fury against the apparently imminent English Baccalaureate Certificates – yes, that was a year ago! I was inspired by reading the great blogs of John Tomsett, Kev Bartle, Tom Sherrington and others to give it a go myself, and I’m so glad I did. It’s provided a think-space for me to test-drive my ideas and beliefs in front of an audience of critical friends. Doing so has made me more certain of my values but also pushed me to re-evaluate my thinking and look afresh at things I thought I knew. Blogging has led me to discover other blogs, and these have inspired, challenged, and excited me consistently throughout the year. There is no question in my mind that I am a better school leader and teacher now than I was a year ago, and the online teacher community has been massively influential in this process.
To celebrate my blog’s first birthday, here is a completely self-indulgent guide to some of my personal highlights from my first year in the blogosphere:
Most popular post: Assessment without levels. The vacuum left by the removal of levels from the National Curriculum continues to trouble teachers and school leaders, and to drive traffic to my blog! The follow-up, Assessment in the new National Curriculum – what we’re doing, is not far behind.
Best response: Letter to my NQT self – I was overwhelmed by the tweets I got back after publishing this whimsical bit of self-referential advice!
Posts that best capture what I’m about: The Past Feeds The Present laid out who I am and what I’m in teaching for; these ideas found full flow thanks to the excellent #blogsync when I attempted to come up with a universal panacea.
When I got cross: Why I Teach. A manifesto of self-expression. I should know better than to read comments below the line on Guardian articles.
What I’m proudest of: Outstanding Teaching and Great Teachers – a whole school CPD approach and A whole-curriculum approach to literacy. Practical, real things I’ve done in my school which I think have made a positive difference.
Doors which have opened: as a result of writing this blog I’ve found myself with opportunities I never knew existed, including attending #SLTeachmeet, hosting #SLTchat, and presenting at #TLT13. And that’s just the start!
Game of Thrones fanboy moment: I still find it hard to believe that I met Arya Stark herself the day Maisie Williams came to school.
The future: I currently have six unfinished drafts and an Evernote page with a whole stack of blog ideas I haven’t had time to start writing. Plus there are so many new ideas buzzing round my head at the moment in relation to developing a teaching and learning culture that there will be plenty more to come! Thanks so much to everyone who has visited Teaching: Leading Learning so far – please comment or contact me if you have any feedback!