Saturday, 6 April 2013

Why Blog?



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.

12 comments:

  1. Keep it up! It is such an inspiration to see what happens when children can spend so much time outdoors even in a school setting---or better yet, especially in a school setting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tom & congrats on taking the leap into FB.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for mentioning my blog.

    Yes - Keep up the blogging! And continue to have fun whilst doing so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, who knows how many others you have inspired too. That's the key isn't it, as long as you enjoy it it's not a chore.

      Delete
  3. It's lovely to hear your reasons for blogging. I'm not a teacher but I find your blog inspirational and it provides me with some great getting outdoors tips and ideas as a Mum. Keep it up :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww that's a really lovely thing to hear so thanks so much & I love following your adventures too.

      Delete
  4. The words and the pictures. I always get a kick when quickly thumbing through Blogger or FB to see the children in your care, so enthused and engaged, in the rain and the snow, happy to be doing what they're doing, smiling, covered in mud or slush, or snoozing (on the bus).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tess, thanks for the all the support & encouragement you give me. I have to confess I am drawn to blogs with lots of photos used to tell a story too.

      Delete
  5. This is a wonderful reminder! And you have shared so much with others as well. We are in this together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers - you know how much this means to me xx

      Delete
  6. Love this post. Another reason why you blog should be the wonderful inspiration you give others for outdoor play :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charlotte!! What a lovely thing to say xx

      Delete