The birthday blog is an annual ritual that I feel compelled to maintain just to chart the life of the blog over time. May 11th was the 5th anniversary of my original Hello World page.
It’s been a chaotic kind of year; a massive rollercoaster — undoubtedly the most difficult and stressful of my career. There have been some pretty dark times wresting with all my failures and failings but, thanks to the love of innumerable great people, I’m surviving – still taking time to explore opportunities and options rather than simply diving back in. This blog has been a lifeline, along with the twitter community that goes with it. Sitting in my kitchen when everyone else is at work – I can still feel connected and part of things. And I can still contribute.
The consultancy work I’ve been doing has been really interesting – it could yet become a permanent career move but I’ll have to see how it goes. I miss being in the thick of it; I miss my team and daily student contact; I miss teaching. But I don’t miss being the punchbag or walking the tightrope.
Anyway – the change of name felt like a necessary step and it seems to have worked for the most part. There’s been a bit of drop in activity and interest in the blog, naturally enough, but it still ticks along.
Here are the full stats so far – a nice new WP feature:
Here are the top blogs in the last 12 months: Bill Rogers still way out ahead. The assembly blog is quite a lazy dump for an unstructured collection of bits and pieces but I guess a lot of assembly-giving people search for ideas and this pops up.
My twitter profile name has also changed but, although things have slowed down quite a lot, I’ve now got 46,900 followers compared to 38,700 a year ago. (My inner nerd requires that I keep tabs on the stats. Sorry). I also follow a lot more people these days – nearly 3000 -which is hugely rewarding. Despite the occasional bouts of ugly behaviour, I continue to find the twitter world a source of great comradeship, professional wisdom and humour. I’ve had to block and mute a fair bit -mainly on the grounds that I won’t take criticism from anonymous people or people who presume to sit in judgement without knowing the full story. I just don’t have time or the mental strength to have those people in my bubble. Life’s too short.
This ‘thanks’ post was very sincerely meant: Our profession is packed with brilliant passionate people. One of the great joys of consultancy is meeting more brilliant passionate people in new contexts. I love it… every time.
There are various irons in fire at this stage that I will share with you now – to see if they survive a year from now:
1. The Learning Tree : Great Teaching for the Real World. A book I am writing for publication with John Catt in the autumn. This is my attempt at presenting a coherent model for teaching based on everything I have learned to date -from experience and research. It’s all in my head; I just need to put the words on the page.
2. Trivium 21 Multi-Academy Trust and Free School. I’m working on this with Martin Robinson, Naureen Afzal, Sam Gorse and others -the wheels are in motion. If this goes according to plan, it will take over most of the other activities. Hugely exciting..
3. Just Great Teaching with Ross McGill – we’re joining forces to deliver some CPD workshops around the country. We’ve had over 10 offers to host events already and good sales for the first event. We want smallish groups of 30-50 rather than large impersonal halls.
4. Curriculum workshops with Martin Robinson – how to put great curriculum ideas into place. If you’re interested, let me know. More info will be published soon.
5. The National Baccalaureate for England. This is entering another pilot year, with early pilot schools developing some superb models. June 30th in Grantham – save the date for the next convention. All welcome.
And then there is the consultancy work. Oldham College have engaged me to work through the year next year to deliver our exciting programme, provisionally entitled ‘Teaching for Distinction’. It’s a great model… more to come on that in due course.
Thanks to anyone reading this far – the best bit about maintaining a blog is that it brings me into contact with so many supportive, interesting people. Another five years? Maybe…