A very good question to open with, probably should have asked it before I started the blog.
As far as teaching and education goes: I read a lot of blogs and I read a lot of articles about education. I always wanted to contribute to the discussion, and occasionally did, but I felt that anything I could contribute, although of course it would be insightful, witty and erudite (I’m incredibly humble as well) would not really help me get my thinking clear on the particular topic or explore the ideas in more detail bringing my own experience to bear. In discussions following on from articles or posts I think there is a need to be quick and to the point, so that a discussion can move on. So to give me a chance to explore ideas in more depth, a blog seemed like a good idea – this was one of the reasons for creating it anyway.
Another reasons was to set my own agenda. I wanted to talk about my ideas, my views about stuff that happened in class during the day, a great idea someone shared, something I read or an excellent link to something completely unrelated that might bare fruit in the classroom. And this was a good place to put them – partly so I could have the first word (and if no-one else reads this it’ll also be the last word) and partly so that I could have a dialogue with others. I didn’t want to have to wait to find the right forum because by this point I would likely have forgotten, (I’m terrible with names so love seating plans, I’m still trying to convince friends that we need a seating plan for parties so I can remember who the hell it is I was talking to 5 minutes ago).
Finally, being a Skeptic (not sure you can be a ‘skeptic’ as such, it’s much more of a mindset) I also wanted a place where I could bring my interest in this area together with teaching, education and learning, again a blog seemed like a good place to do this. In this regard I do feel I’m tracing well-trodden ground, the likes of Tom Bennett, Daniel WIllingham and Andrew Old all approach education with the same attitude I do, and they have been writing about it for longer than me and have a substantial base of experience from which to draw. Therefore, I’m not going to attempt to re-hash their arguments but I will look at these in relation to where I work and how this compares to my experiences and philosophy of teaching.
So, what to expect:
- I’m going to try and blog at least once a week, though with a busy faculty to run and and a busy 4 year old that runs me this might stretch a bit
- I’m going to try and keep posts to about 500 words (so far so good) so that it forces me to distil my thought and remain on topic (something I was bad at during my degree)
- I’m primarily going to blog about education, the big general whole school stuff as well as the subjects I teach, History, ToK (Theory of Knowledge for those not familiar with the IB) and Humanities. I’ll liberally sprinkle this with discussions about research and anything that catches my eye from the world of skepticism
- Mistakes… …I make them but I’ll be happy to admit to them when I find them or have them pointed out to me (nicely please)
- I’m a big supporter of evidence based practice so I’m going to try and bring this in as much as possible.
Well that fairly well covers it, I’m sure this will need refining as I go or at the very least a hefty bit of reflection but this is what good teachers are – reflective