What a lot can happen in a year. It was only this time last July that I began my experiment with Twitter and blogging. I think it’s fair to say that my professional life (and at times my personal life, but that’s another story) has been transformed. Even I don’t recognise myself.
After a couple of knocks in my bid to be promoted, I began the blog back on 11th July 2011 as a way of invigorating my teaching and with the intention of reflecting on my practice. I wanted to use it as an aide memoire for all the interesting stuff that has always passed fleetingly through my mind only to be promptly consigned to the wasteland of memory. By that I mean I forget stuff.
Instead I started pontificating and holding forth on a variety of educational issues and generally annoying people. Some of my favourite moments have been the Rows Row, the Objective Quest and my many and various contre temps with the irascible (and still sadly anonymous) Old Andrew.
The blog has been nominated for 2 awards (but came nowhere near winning either of them) and has had getting on for 50,000 hits. This is hardly the big time but I’m amazed by all the corners of the globe which have lit up on the spinning icon below. I have readers in Iceland, Fiji and Saudi Arabia. Who knew so many people, from so many different places, would be interested in reading my musings?
A year on and my life has changed in the following ways:
- I’ve written a book which someone has seen fit to publish. What’s more I’m reliably informed that I can start referring to it as a ‘best seller’. Some people seem to like it and have been kind enough to say so publicly.
- I have a leadership team position at a school. Anyone who knew me 10 years ago would need to have a bit of sit down to let that one sink in. Me. Really. What’s more, I’m working with people I respect and admire like Jim Smith (of Lazy Teacher fame,) Mr iPad himself Mark Anderson, the quite marvellous Zoe Elder, and my old French teacher Gabrielle Murtagh.
- I have been invited to become an associate with Independent Thinking and people are prepared to pay me to speak to them about what I do for a living. In a satisfyingly storybookesque twist, I had my first paid gig today (a year and a day after starting all this) and it wasn’t completely rubbish. They even asked if I would be prepared to come back!
- I have actually met (in real life) some amazing teacher types. Some of these are big potatoes like Phil Beadle, Geoff Barton and Tom Bennett whilst others are quietly magnificent like Darren Mead, Helene O’Shea and Matt Bebbington.
- Lastly, but most importantly, I am a better teacher. I’m more knowledgeable, more inclined to try new things and more reflective. Twitter hasn’t just changed my life, it’s changed my teaching. Er… is that the right way round?
If so much has happened after one year what might life be like next year? If I manage to avoid being publicly exposed as a fraud, the sky may really be the limit.