So, another year is done. The Learning Spy has officially entered into its third year of existence. And, after 173 posts I’m not only older but, just possibly, a tiny bit wiser.
This time last year I reported that the blog had had almost 50,000 hits. It has now had over 230,000 and is, apparently, the 18th most influential educational blog in the world! I’m still not at all sure about the accuracy of this measure but it’s evidence of something. In other news the Teach 100 rank me at 123, so it all balances out.
I love blogging. It’s a continued revelation how much I enjoy pontificating on the ebb and flow of education. And that the gap between thought and publication is so immediate. It’s quite a thrill to know that there are people out there who are interested in what I think and do. And what people! I still feel a bit giddy about the fact that Dylan Wiliam has left two (2!) comments on the blog. But despite the sense of audience, there’s still a space to think, to explore, to synthesise ideas and to simply. A blog is organic in a way no other medium is; it grows with its writer and, although I share the space with others, it’s intensely personal and uniquely mine.
Ahem. Well after all that self-indulgence, what about some prosaic statistics? Just in case anyone’s interested, the most popular posts I’ve written this year are:
1. Anatomy of an outstanding lesson – 22nd January 2013 – 8,624 views
2. Work scrutiny – what’s the point of marking books? 26th January 2013 – 7,941 views
3. Go with the flow – the 2 minute lesson plan – 17th November 2012 – 7,518 views
4. Outstanding teaching & learning: missed opportunities and marginal gains – 14th October 2012 – 6,404 views
5. Why do so many teachers leave teaching? – 27th February 2013 – 6,293 views
6. Building challenge: differentiation that’s quick and works – 19th January 2013 – 6,287
7. Icebergs, taking risks and being outstanding – 11th February 2013 – 4,679 views
8. The Matthew Effect – why literacy is so important – 30th September 2012 – 3,881 views
9. Teacher talk: the missing link – 18th May 2013 – 3,694 views
10. Developing oracy: it’s talking time! – 29th December 2012 – 3,174 views
What does all that tell us? Mainly that putting the word ‘outstanding’ in a blog post title seems a good strategy for getting hits, and that maybe lots of people read blogs in January.
The posts I feel most proud of are the Teaching Sequence for Developing Independence series. But despite pouring my heart into them they just haven’t proved particularly popular. Go figure.
So much for the blog. As for me, I’m struggling to write that difficult second book, and have another big year of change ahead. After a great year at the wonderful Clevedon School, I’m on the move again; this time to Greenwood Academy in Birmingham. It was a difficult decision to leave after only a year, but Greenwood offered me what can only be described as my dream job as a teaching & learning coach. Not only that, but I’m going to be working for myself 1 day a week next year. If you’re tempted to inflict me your staff, click here.
Thanks for reading. I hope we’re all still here this time next year.