How can you tell if a blogpost is going to stick with you? Sometimes it’s obvious. I read something I think is incredible and evangelise about it until my friends’ eyes glaze over. Or the stars might align and someone posts a remarkable, practical, on-point solution to a problem that’s currently plaguing me. But there’s also those blogs that I skim read quickly and don’t make much of, yet find they keep cropping up in my mind. There’s just something about them… Maybe you can’t really tell except with the benefit of hindsight.
There have been some standout blogs this year that I’ve found myself mulling over weeks or months later. For what it’s worth, these are the blogs that have really stuck with me in 2014:
- Design your own mastery curriculum in maths by @mrreddymaths. Firmly in the “practical advice” category, this is one I kept coming back to as I prepared my own KS3 curriculum. Packed full of wisdom from an absolute legend of a maths teacher.
- @daisychristo‘s three blogs (1, 2, 3) reviewing Measuring Up. In fact, many of her blogs on assessment have redefined how I see the examination and assessment system.
- @Kris_Boulton on a codified body of knowledge for teachers prompted me to think much more deeply about subject knowledge.
- Schools shouldn’t be relying on parents to teach reading by @heatherbellaf brought a real problem to the fore. I was particularly astounded by this entirely unironic comment left on the blog:
“One of your statements that stood out to me was the one about schools ‘farming out their core purpose to parents’. Surely you’re not suggesting that a school’s core purpose is to teach kids to read (or write, or ‘do’ math)?”
This highlighted the deep ideological differences in education to me like nothing else.
- Three blogs from teachers I deeply admire made me more confident about dismissing gimmicks and concentrating on just teaching.
- I love the Teach like a Champion blog. It gives me ideas for marginal gains that accumulate to make a real difference to my lessons. My favourite is this, despite the cliche klaxons set off by “false dichotomy”. I love Paul Powell’s high-low structure.
- @readingthebooks heartfelt conviction is so career-affirming to read about. She’s on fine form here, and I found myself nodding along to parts even though she’s defending a system I disagree with. Quoted for truth:
“I’m not sure I can ascribe to a system where an equivalent D represents a good thing. I’m tired of people telling me “that’s a huge achievement for that student,” because it might be, but we can do better; they can do better. We need to have bigger ambitions of our own ability to transform the life chances of every single child; not just the borderline children, of all children.”
- And finally, two blogs that gave me some valuable perspective: I lie about my teaching and, (non-education specific) Things you can change vs things you can’t.
There are definitely some absolute stunners I’ve left out: that tells you more about the foibles of my long term memory than anything else. Here’s to 2015 and many more mind expanding blogs!