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Saturday, 18 January 2014

To blog or not to blog that is the question

Day 18 of my challenge and blog 18 and still going strong! Well still going anyway.

began blogging originally as I found myself in KS1 in September after 15 years in KS2 and knew it would be a very different experience, that's the understatement of the year! 

In addition I had been tweeting for a while and other blogs I read through Twitter inspired me to blog myself. 

But perhaps the main reason was that I found myself, for the first time in my career, at a real low. I would go as far to say that I would have walked away from teaching if I could. Blogging therefore became a way of focusing on positives when I was not feeling positive at all. 

The reasons for my low were multi faceted and whilst not all just teaching related were mainly teaching. When I look back I can see I was suffering from depression. Now anyone who knows me would know how alien and unbelievable that is. I am the original 'glass half full' type of person and the Monty Python song 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' was written for me. 

Now that the depression is under control I can look back and reflect on the things that helped contribute to it, things that added to it and things that helped me to cope and lift it. 

The contributory factors were pressures, pressures and more pressures. I have been lucky to see teaching as my vocation but it was not becoming that way. Unrealistic targets to achieve, lesson observations that I instinctively knew proved nothing and were and are totally pointless and the real big one parents who thought that they could speak to me however they wanted. 

The other things that really didn't help were negative people, you all know them, the sappers, the moaners. These were people around me, people in the media and also people on Twitter. 

When you are down you seek people who empathise, who agree with you and feel your pain. It is a fine line though because this support really needs to then change to reassurance. When it doesn't and it turns into them getting in the hole with you it and actually dumping more stress on top it becomes a vicious circle. 

The continual bad press in the media about teaching was and still is ridiculous. It seems teachers are to blame for most of the ills in society. Everyone it seems has an opinion about teaching and actually according to the present government anyone can teach, qualified or not. 

I am a huge advocate of Twitter, I have delivered staff training on the benefits of Twitter as a professional development tool. Professionals share resources, ideas, inspiration and support. However Twitter can also be  self depricating. Negativity often abounds! It also has it's sappers along with the 'look at me I am amazing' crew who seem to spend their time slapping each other on the back, a cliche who only ever reply, retweet and mention those in their crew. 

So how has blogging helped me? At the outset I made a vow to when blogging about school to only focus on positive events. Target met! This really has helped me remember that teaching still is my vocation and helps me reflect upon all if the good bits, those teaching moments  that we forget. The fun side of the job, after all children are hilarious at times. 

It has also allowed me to share my experience. After 16 years I do know a bit! If only one thing I blog helps or inspires one person then again target met!

Blogging has also awakened that writer that was lurking inside me. I have always secretly wanted to be a writer, I am loving writing and never  knew I had so much to say. Who knows where it will lead. 

I can also honestly say I never knew I was so determined and competitive, even if it's only with myself. Challenge set I know I will I do my absolute best to reach it. 

So what next? More blogging! How many to go to meet my challenge 365 - 18.