Circles

Placement was good today, very productive. I really feel like a teacher now, I feel comfortable in the role, I like that I’m teaching one class and students from my other class pop in to ask me something quick, I like that they trust me to make decisions and ask me things now instead of waiting for my mentor. It’s all very settled and enjoyable. I was a bit frustrated in the beginning but I’m glad that things worked this way now, it’s all pretty much perfect. I enjoy chats with my colleagues, personal or professional, they help keep things in perspective and it’s nice to feel one of the team although I’m acutely aware that I will be going soon and they will carry on being the same team and they’ll have another student in my place. It’s all part of the experiential and learning circle.

I’ve kind of lost my mojo for blogging which is a shame, but when what you write is taken out of context and used against you it makes you lose enthusiasm, I only keep blogging because it’s valuable to me or else I’d have closed the book on this by now. We were meant to do as part of our course and I want to be able to look back and think about the journey I’ve been on when I’m at the end of it and on those days in the future when teaching is tough or I need a lesson from my student self on how to cope.

It’s a shame the whole cohort didn’t use if for what it was intended, it could have been really useful to have some discussion and debate on the many topics which affect a teacher’s life , but then it has been useful for me and that’s the most important thing. As it’s such a popular practice among teaching professionals I hope that in time more teachers use it and value it as a real part of the profession and they can take advantage of mass peer support to analyse and improve practice and to stay abreast of developments from a teacher’s perspective.

I’ve linked in to so many useful and informative networks and so many interesting and inspirational people in the teaching world through my blog and it’s really enriched my experience and without a doubt made me a better teacher. Example: I’m going to a 2 day teaching event in London next month which I would never have known about if it wasn’t for blogging. I get involved in an FE twitter chat every week that I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for blogging. The internet lets us network well beyond our physical circle of colleagues with a whole world of professionals with an enormous wealth of knowledge and experience to tap into and share. I wouldn’t miss out on that for the world.

I love blogging because it lets you dump the rubbish from your mind, weigh things up, reevaluate, reflect and make decisions to move yourself forward. Then it stands to reason that I would like blogging, I love language, I love using it and I’m naturally reflective and I like to big up positives as well as have a moan now and again. Trouble is when you do that on a blog you lay yourself open to criticism and to misrepresentation but it’s all worth it. Sometimes you have to remember the problem is not yours but theirs and brush it off.

“Now’t as strange as folk” as they ‘kind of’ say. If you’re about to start a PGCE and you have to keep a reflective blog as part of your course requirements just be mindful of the fact that there are always people who will look for a way to misinterpret what you say, keep it real, keep it honest and most importantly keep it going. Link in to others and learn from them and share your thoughts with them even as a novice they are valued, often more than you realise because you are fresh eyes on a situation and sometimes fresh eyes see more clearly.

Thinking of professionalism lately for the essay I’ve just written and part of developing and maintaining that professionalism is building and contributing to networks, it’s just what professionals do but then again it’s what anyone who has a real interest and a desire to learn and improve and help others does, but then that’s part of professionalism too. It’s another big circle. Maybe some people prefer to keep their circles small and personal and blogging isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s easy for me to say that I enjoy it, I write off the cuff, thoughts flow from brain to finger tips easily and I touch type stupidly fast for others it might be more of a chore. I still think it’s worth giving it a go though if you start a teaching qualification,  it’s really good to look back on… and unlike your ILP and your OTL reflections you don’t have to add theory :D.

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