Monday, 29 February 2016

Reflection: #teacher5aday29dayswriting

I was going to use my last #teacher5aday29dayswriting post to write up my notes from the Standards and Testing Agency meeting I went to today, but it would be pretty boring and it's past ten o'clock now so that can wait. Instead I shall reflect upon the benefits of writing daily for 29 days.

Last week I spent most of my free time writing a job application (you should be allowed a couple of days off for that because how, realistically, is filling in all that stuff meant to fit in with a teacher's schedule?) It's like they want to make it hard for you to leave your current job... Anyway, having spent so much time writing recently I found that sentence structures and phrasing came very easily. I also felt the application conveyed my personality more than previous letters of application have - this is surely because I've been blogging, let's face it, about me, myself and I every day for the last month! Whilst I wouldn't say practise has made perfect, it's certainly helped.

I think I've genuinely written some helpful stuff over the last few weeks. Posts have been hit and miss - inspiration didn't desert me but the lack of time to think things through means that some posts probably came off half-baked. However, many of the posts I've written have garnered positive feedback, sometimes just from one person who claims that my message was timely and useful to them. I'm not going to lie, that's a good feeling. And it's why I started my blog - to have an impact and to inspire others beyond the realms of my social circles. It'll be interesting to see which posts stand the test of time.

It's done wonders for my blog's stats! I love statistics as much as the next bloke and, whilst getting hits is not why I write my blog, it's gratifying to know that my pieces are being read. Allow me to indulge myself: currently my all time page view count stands at a little over 20,000 - 12,000, over half, of those page views were in the last month! In that time frame two of my blog posts have reached over 2000 views each - most of those in a two day period. I think I've gained a fair few followers on Twitter too as a result. When I wrote my first blog post I naively dreamed of it going as viral as all the 'Why I've Left Teaching' articles and I learnt there and then that my subject matter is not what the masses want to hear. However, I started my blog in the vain hope that I would be able to reach some people somewhere, and I think my stats show that that is happening, especially as a result of blogging so regularly.

Finally, I have really enjoyed the chance to switch off from my work and to do something a little different. I have tried to stay true to the vision I have for my blog's content meaning that I've still written about teaching-related things - a busman's holiday I suppose, but still not actual work. The pieces I've had the most enjoyment in writing are the more creative ones:

Each of those posts conjures up memories of where I was when I wrote them, and how I was feeling - I've had some really good times partaking in this challenge.

I don't think I'll continue posting daily, but I'm sure a habit has been instilled in me. Maybe in the coming months I'll blog more frequently than before, but also more thoughtfully than perhaps I have over the last 29 days - a balance must be struck. I must give a huge thank you to all the visionaries waving the @teacher5aday banner for challenging, inspiring and supporting me through this month of blogging. Same again next year? Ooh, I might do!

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