Well……. apparently my blog has been going for 7 years.
It originally appeared on a couple of other websites, before finding its long-term home here in January 2009. Between the sites it has probably had in excess of 900 000 hits. That said it really only took off in the last year or so, as more teachers joined Twitter and certain posts became particularly highly visited. Prior to that I used to pride myself on being read only by a small elite of deep thinkers. The style has changed a fair bit, going from a frequent mix of anecdotal material and tedious essays to a less frequent, but less tedious, style of essay which verged on a cry for help, to its current emphasis on immediate & frequent reactions to whatever is annoying me, particularly topical issues.
My original inclination, after leaving a school I hated, was to catalogue some of the outrageous things I had seen in a couple of schools that would be considered fairly average and to share my own thoughts about the ideas that informed our education system, mainly focusing on behaviour. As time has gone on, I’ve become less interested (and more restricted) in how much I can write about personal experience, and more focused on policy, teaching methods and the broader teacher experience.
After being ignored, even in lists of teacher blogs, for most of those years this blog now gets a fair bit of publicity (see here) and has been name-checked by Michael Gove a few times. After years of being told that I was expressing the views of an insignificant and unrepresentative individual, I’m more often criticised nowadays for being the leader of a mob.
Through my blog, I’ve met a host of new people, including some such as Katharine Birbalsingh, Tom Bennett, Toby Young, Daisy Christodoulou and Daniel Willingham (yes really, how cool is that?) who I guess you would have to say count as celebrities in the strange parallel universe of the education debate.
During this time I have maintained my anonymity through carefully cultivating a career of such deep insignificance that if you arrived at my school’s reception and asked for me by my real name they wouldn’t be able to help. (I’m not joking, David Didau tried this.) At some point I will need to go public, but first I need to work somewhere that the opinions I express, and that thousands of teachers follow, aren’t going to be considered controversial or a liability when OFSTED visit. However, working in a school and seeing every day the things I’ve been describing for 7 years, continues to be my main source of inspiration.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with links to a few of the highlights of the last 7 years.
- This, from my first month of blogging, is probably the one where I most often get people telling me that I nailed it (although this gets a pretty similar reaction)
- This from 2007 is probably still my funniest post.
- This, or at least the final part of it, had the most impact on political debate after prompting a controversial part of a speech by Michael Gove.
- This from 2009 covers some ground that still comes up a lot.
- People still ask about this on A.P.P., an initiative that apparently still hasn’t died in some schools:
- This sums up my attitude to OFSTED, an organisation also mention in my two most read blogposts: here and here.
- This sums up one of the debates that helped bring attention to this blog.
- This still makes me angry.
- The post that prompted the greatest number of hits in one day was this, from a few days ago.
- And this has changed the lives of all who saw it.