I had great plans this term for my blog. I started well with a couple of posts, one about professional development I had run at my school about the future of technology in education and one about my amazing experience doing Tough Mudder and what education could learn from it.
I also set myself what I thought was an achievable goal of 5 posts this term, about one every 2 weeks. I had a number of ideas for great posts and I had started 4 draft posts, about things that I thought were interesting or important to me.
So what went wrong? Why have I not blogged now for over a month?
There are many factors.
Writing does not come easily for me
I have the ideas, but putting them down clearly without grammatical (and spelling) errors has always been a struggle for me. Throughout my schooling, this difficulty with putting my ideas on paper has held me back (and yes I do have a learning disability). I remember in school having to write ideas I wanted to express into very simple language because I could not spell a word, at other times I would read back other sentences that I had written and would find missing words or major grammatical errors (worse was when I re-read my writing and I couldn't see them).
So how has this held me back?
I need time to write. I need time to edit, the time to re-edit my work. Come back to it the next day to look at it with new eyes. This is the only way I have found to produce work with minimal errors. Over the last month I have not had time or mental head space as I have been HSC marking where I was doing a new job, planning for 2013, developing new courses and, of course, teaching.
I have never been confident with my writing, because of my learning difficulties. In the back of my mind I feel that I will be judged by my peers (you guys reading this). "Great post, but look at all those grammatical errors and...". I can see the errors when I read other's work, but my own do not stand out.
So what can I learn from this...as a teacher?
Many students are held back from producing work. We need to:
1. Give students the time to produce quality work, to edit and re-edit, to get the work proofed in a non-judgemental way and without marks. (I am grateful I have a great in-house editor of my work who will have read this post before I publish it, who will fix any glaring errors without judgement and without altering my ideas, giving me the confidence that what I have written is publishable - thanks @eccajoy [Daww, thanks - ed.] )
2. Develop student's confidence, so that they are willing to have a go and put themselves out there, even if out there is just to me as a teacher. Mistakes are part of learning. Students who appear to not have much to offer may just not want to look dumb, they need to know their teacher doesn't see it that way.
3. Develop their knowledge and skills. One way to develop their writing skills is to get them on twitter. Through using twitter, I am becoming quicker at writing responses and I'm making fewer grammatical errors.
Thanks for reading just another blog post :)