Teacher Challenge #1
As with any January, there's always lots of challenge and new ideas and hopes rolling around the place. One of the nice things about teaching in the Southern Hemisphere is that we can recover from Christmas and NYE celebrations, and still have 3-4 weeks before school starts again to mull over what the goals for the year will be. We get to sit in our deck chairs and dream of being ambitious....
Last week I stumbled on Teacher Challenge, and not having a resolution to blog more, but wanting to write more in general, I thought I'd give it a whirl. The first challenge is to interview your blog in 10 questions.
- So Continue - how's it been?
Pretty good really. I don't get used or abused much, but I like the fact that I'm a one word url, and I am a place to capture some ideas and thoughts. I do wonder why Tim takes so long to write posts sometimes. He usually has great little ideas, but then struggles to craft those ideas into succinct and pointed posts.
To be fair to him - becoming a Dad over the last two years has taken up most of his time.
- Why do you think you were started?
The main reason was to have a place to collect thoughts and comment on what was going on around. Teaching is a hell of a crazy occupation - rewarding, frustrating, endless, exhausting. In some ways there's so much going on in teaching, the nature of the occupation goes against quiet, focused reflection. But that's what is needed, to become a better teacher and learner, so that our students are better learners also. I wanted to have somewhere to do that.
Simple reason though - to learn in your first years of teaching that Marie Clay is/was a second cousin was pretty humbling, and to be able to aspire to make the difference that she was.
- What's been the hardest part of being a blog?
The abandonment. I get visited rarely, and edited even less frequently. I think I'm a little embarrassed and sometimes threatened by the prolific edu bloggers. The Chris Betchers, Larry Ferlazzos, David Warlicks, Dan Meyers, Jeff Utechts, Sue Waters - all of them are wonderfully inspiring writers and friendly, friendly types. But I do wonder how they do it - how they manage full-time lives as teachers, parents, husbands, wives, and consistently blog the way they do.
And threatened isn't really the right word I know... I'm not afraid of blogging. I'm going to answer my own question and know that it's about making blogging a habit - a part of who you are - and a part of your teaching practice. I know I'm not there yet.
- What tools do you use to get made?
I'm a Mac guy by choice, but an IT agnostic - I use XP and Ubuntu and Sugar for fun. I'm big on FOSS type software and am working hard to be more minimalist in my software choices and workflow habits. So I've settled on using Scribefire to write my posts - it's handy extension to Firefox, Safari and Chrome. I tried with ecto and Marsedit, but Scribefire just works for what I do. I'm not a coder, or a server maintainer guy (even though I try to be) - edublogs was a nice hosted fit, and if I can become more of a habit, I'll think about getting my own domain.
Other tools... People's Coffee, tunes (which is currently highly skewed, because I've mostly been using the ipod to play music to a 2 year old!), my gifted, pre-loved Herman Miller.
- What are you looking forward to in 2011?
More regular attention! Tim's been invited to Kiwi Foo Camp, and an Emerging Leaders in Education unconference this year - and if they're not catalysts for serious consideration and sharing with others, I don't know what is. Apart from that, just capturing the simple and the direct moments that fill our lives. And sharing them so others can learn from them. And learning from others, students, other teachers, my wife and daughter. That's always the best stuff in life.
So I'm out of questions, and it's 11pm, and I've got a good book to finish.
Roll on Challenge #2