Saturday, 6 April 2013
After giving a short presentation on my blog to colleagues I asked if there were any questions & was asked 'Why do you blog?'. At the time I was a little taken aback by the question as I was expecting more of the 'what do you gain from blogging' etc. type questions. But I have thought about that question for a while now, I mean what made me take the first step towards blogging, what made me think anyone would want to hear/read what I have to say & why am I still blogging over 2 years later? I suppose firstly I like talk about what I do, I'm passionate about being a nursery teacher & advocating for the young children in my care who are the youngest in the school system in Europe. I followed 3 blogs in particular before starting my own; I'm A Teacher Get Me Out Of Here, Let the Children Play & Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning. I read every post from these blogs & in particular think I was inspired by the fact that they were all 'just' teachers like me.
I have always enjoyed writing but had been disillusioned when doing further studies when I couldn't make any original statements - everything had to be backed up with at least 2 other expert opinions, this part frustrated me!
So blogging for me offered an opportunity for me to talk about what I have learned while teaching & to share what I get up to with my class & why. However, over 170 posts later I realise that blogging is in fact the best Continued Professional Development (CPD) a teacher can ever engage in, it made me a much more reflective practitioner & I am able to share & exchange ideas with others around the world.
When I first started teaching in 2000, we still had Early Years officers within the education board who organised cluster meetings on a monthly basis for all nursery teachers in my area to get together & share ideas on planning, observations, outdoor learning etc. This has all stopped now & there are very few courses on offer anymore either. I work in a single entry school which means I have no direct teaching colleague so the blog has allowed me to 'meet' other preschool teachers & ask their advice as I would if I had a colleague on site.
The blog allows me to see how my teaching has evolved as I look over photos from 6 or 7 years ago & I can reflect on why a certain activity worked with one class & not another. It allows me to 'track' my outdoor learning journey & share with others how I got to this approach.
The blog has been invaluable for informing parents of what we do at Windmill & especially to illustrate our outdoor play approach. It means I don't have to keep justifying why we go outside in all weathers, why we go to the forest or why we engage in risky play. I am also always suprised that people actually do read the posts & am always a little 'tickled' when a parent mentions something I had written about etc.
So if any teachers out there considering starting a blog I'd say go for it, even if you just blog once a month, it will become a fantastic CPD tool.