I'll start with my fiance's reaction when I told him about the #summerblogchallenge - he was convinced that there was no way I could write 51 meaningful blog posts, and was in danger of just spamming my Twitter feed with rubbish - hence the title of this post. I think he's also concerned that I spent the first day of the summer holidays pre-writing posts and coming up with ideas rather than starting the big it's-the-summer-holidays spring clean of the tip we're currently living in. This got me thinking about what my aims are when I post, and why I do it.
When I started blogging this year, I felt a little self-conscious. There are a lot of well-established teaching blogs already out there, and I couldn't see what I could contribute. However, I'm really glad I waded in, as it's really reinvigorated my teaching this year, along with loads of other advantages. So this post is for any on-the-fence would-be bloggers who are debating wading into the blogosphere.
Originally I set up my blog to post lesson ideas and resources, but I found that I was gradually actually writing lengthy posts rather than just posting a resource link and a brief explanation. As I've blogged more this year, I've found I really enjoy the process of picking an idea, deciding an approach and then writing about it - kind of like a very short story with the plot already laid out for you.
Blogging and maintaining my website has now turned into a hobby for me - some people have asked recently how I find the time to do it while full-time teaching; it sounds bizarre, but this stuff is part of how I unwind and relax, and I've learned so many new skills along the way.
Half the posts I write will be of interest to nearly no-one. I debated whether my post about logarithmic thinking and dinosaurs was in the slightest bit worth reading, but I'd enjoyed writing and researching it so much that I couldn't bear to delete it. So far, one person (and not a maths teacher!) has dropped me an email to say they liked the post, so if I've made myself and one other person happy, that's fine by me!
Some people can write wonderfully concise, insightful stuff once a month, and I love reading well-crafted posts. Mark McCourt springs to mind as an example - his blogs are great. But that's just not me - I just don't have the time to sit and fiddle with redrafting. Once the idea's on the page, it gets posted. If it's dull, there's always the little clicky cross button at the top of the page!
When I got involved in the NCETM project last year, a lot of the work we did was around lesson study and really unpicking what worked and what didn't. This got me back in the habit of critically evaluating my lessons, possibly with a little more insight than in my training year.
Sometime this year, I started posting lesson ideas that had worked for me - the process of describing these to an invisible reader who'd not been in the lesson really made me think carefully about why it had worked. As I tend to post within a few days of teaching a lesson, the thoughts of "oh I must remember that next year" or "that needs changing" are quite easily accessible in my memory, and those bits do actually get changed or altered, rather than forgetting all about them and making the same mistakes when teaching that lesson next time.
If you're a wanna-be blogger, hopefully this post might have convinced you to join the party - the more posts and ideas, the merrier! I'm pleased that we've already got two more takers - @mwimaths and @funASDteacher, and I'm looking forward to reading their many many posts!