The Five Best British Education BlogsDecember 8, 2008
The following (in no particular order) are, in my opinion, the best education blogs in the UK:
Blog: Ranting Teacher
Description: Writing in an observational style that draws on years of experience, and a strong sense of humour.
Why It Should Be Read: This is the longest running British teacher blog and, although the author is not posting terribly often, it is still one of the best.
Sample of Recent Blogging: Every now and again I happen to teach a boy who, in the old days, would have been called “sensitive”, but in this more enlightened day and age is simply known as “gay”. The boy may or may not know he’s gay yet; it’s not my place to ask or interfere, but merely observe and perhaps write about it on here…”
Blog: To Miss With Love by Snuffy
Description: A regularly updated mix of anecdote and (often political) opinion from a member of SMT at an inner-city school in London
Why It Should Be Read: Partly because it is a relief to read anything from an SMT member who actually believes in education; partly for the heated debate that follows every blog entry; partly because it is usually very entertaining.
Sample Of Recent Blogging: “….Blame the teacher for the child’s lack of interest? In most of the world, that notion would simply be absurd. But back in Britain, we lay the blame at the teacher’s door. We spend our time wishing we could have better teachers. We spend all our cash and our energies training better teachers. And we miss the obvious fact which has been sitting in front of us all along. If we want to be successful, all we need to do is to make our kids into better kids.”
Description: Slice of life posts by a sickeningly young, and still quite enthusiastic, maths teacher.
Why It Should Be Read: It is often very funny, but even when it isn’t it is still pleasant to read about “our world” through less jaded and cynical eyes.
Sample Of Recent Blogging: “The maths department is dominated by women in their forties and fifties. They’re all really nice and I’m glad to be in a department where there’s so much experience but lunchtime conversations are usually such that it is all but impossible for me to make a meaningful contribution. Favourite topics are bitching about senior leadership, children/grandchildren and women’s issues. Oh and the food section at Marks and Spencer…”
Blog: The Blue Chair By The Gentleman Loser
Description: Opinion based posts from a teacher and NUT officer
Why It Should Be Read: To restore your faith that there are still principled, but sane, people playing a part in the NUT.
Sample Of Recent Blogging: “Hmm… apparently the Senior Leadership Team are ‘concerned’ about the falling Religious Studies GCSE results over the last five years. This wouldn’t by any chance be the same Senior Leadership Team that has reduced RE’s teaching hours by 36% over exactly the same period?…”
Blog: Conor’s Commentary By Conor Ryan
Description: Political comment, with a strong emphasis on education, by a former education advisor to Tony Blair and David Blunkett
Why It Should Be Read: To have a more realistic view of the political side of education. While I don’t agree with everything he says it does help put to bed the idea that the state of our schools is the result of some deliberate political conspiracy to undermine discipline.
Sample Of Recent Blogging: “…I hope [anti-bullying] week is a success. Whether it is or not in the longer term will depend on the extent to which the anti-bullying charities are willing to recognise the need for punishment in tackling bullying, even if softer less punitive measures can play their part in creating a better culture in some schools, particularly primaries… Clear sanctions need to be a part of the solution in tackling bullying, and there should be no place for No Blame. Bullies are to blame.”