Entering the #28daysofwriting challenge I thought it would be great to get back into the habit of blogging and increase my page views. This was quite a self-involved motivation and but I also knew that through regular reflection and writing I would be able to make more sense of my first steps on the journey at Hobsonville Point Primary School. At some stage in the future I knew that this would pay dividends.
I haven't posted for the last two days but I have posted far more days than I've missed, have learnt far more than I had imagine and helped to formulate some strategies that will assist my professional and classroom practice for a long time. Not all of these lessons revolve around explicit teaching practice but need to be outlined nonetheless.
While my initial involvement with this blogging challenge was far more selfish, the 28 minutes of writing has been far exceeded by my professional reading throughout. Reading many blogposts has inspired, challenged and taught me a huge amount. It has created a reading list that will take me a long time to complete if ever. I use to regularly read several colleagues blog posts but this number has increased dramatically. Most importantly, I have read posts that have held different views to my own. Two texts I've been inspired to read are Game Storming and Drive. Game Storming was purchased by Amy and we've already integrated successfully one of the activities we uncovered in there.
I still find that I am reluctant to comment on the many posts I read (hence my enrolment in #28daysofcommenting). Some have made me feel quite inadequate as a writer - I strive to write to the level of some of the posts I have read. I have recognised for a while that I am sometimes not as analytical as I need to be, HBDI analysis confirmed this showing that my last thinking preference is Analytical/Logical but it isn't far behind. Reading posts I have established that my ability to integrate evidence based analytical thinking in a natural writing style is weaker than I would like it also. Between Ewan McIntosh and locally Steve Mouldey, I've found blogging styles I'd like to emulate but I've also appreciated the raw energy and emotion behind other posts.
Reflection - remove your ego:
Warm and demanding is the ethos at both Hobsonville Point schools, it can feel very confrontational initially but if you can strip the ego from your thinking and deal with the issues then reflection can become very rewarding. Challenging myself to remove ego or baggage from my thinking as I have approached some of my posts and my general 'unschooling' at HPPS has resulted in many interesting discussions. It's also allowed me to consider whether any tool/programme/activity/assessment is best for anyone learner. I think it is best summarised by attributes which feature in the HPPS Mindset continuum.
Sharing, Caring and Bewaring:
I'm not sure if Bewaring is actually a word but being aware just didn't sit right on the page ;-) I've enjoyed the commenting and community of writing that has grown from Tom's #28daysofwriting but it has also led me into discussions and posts that don't feel comfortable personally. In several posts I've made sincere efforts to confront thinking that may be challenging for others, clearly public forums such as a blog are dangerous tools. Currently, I'm reading Jon Ronson's new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed, a book which covers the negative exposure that can unwittingly be secured through social media. This is the world that we tread with our virtual support networks. Sharing, caring and bewaring has to be uppermost in our minds.
Throughout the 28 days I have queried much of my thinking and in this quest I have read many different posts, it has made goal setting for 2015 quite difficult. I have got to a point where I recognise that Student Voice, Design Thinking and my own capacity to think analytically will most likely form parts of my professional objectives. How these will actually shape up I'm not entirely sure.
28 minutes never seemed like a difficult target, but 28 days of writing certainly did! Although I didn't meet 28 days, I know I've definitely met the target on average (28 days x 28 minutes = 784 minutes).
Cheers Tom, thanks for the journey and I look forward to our next 28 days commenting.