A number of education bloggers have been completing Alice Bell’s survey on edcation blogging. Here’s my responses.
Blog URL: blog.mrstacey.org.uk
What do you blog about? Education related stuff
Are you paid to blog? No. Nor would I want to be. This is just my thoughts, when they occur to me and I have time to write them down.
What do you do professionally (other than blog)? Teacher
How long have you been blogging at this site? I think I set up my first teaching blog in my second year of teaching (2006) having been inspired by Doug Belshaw. That got lost in a cock up when moving webhosts (teaching me a valuable lesson about taking backups at the same time!). The current version has been there since Oct ‘08
Do you write in other platforms? (e.g. in a print magazine?) Not currently
Can you remember why you started blogging? I was inspired by Doug Belshaw. I wanted to share what I was doing, partly because I believe that sharing is important, partly because I wanted to get feedback to help me develop my ideas, and partly because the process of writing was one I found helpful for organising my thoughts and reflections.
What keeps you blogging? Much of the same. I find the process very useful in terms of organising my thoughts, and I’ve also found one beneficial side effect is to leave messages to my future self about how I approached particular things, about what worked and what I’d change if I did it again.
Do you have any idea of the size or character if your audience? How? I don’t. It’s something I’d like to look into at some point, but isn’t very high on my priority list
What’s your attitude to/ relationship with people who comment on your blog? Gratitude normally! I suspect most come from the community on twitter.
Do you feel as if you fit into any particular community, network or genre of blogging? (e.g. schools, science, education, museums, technology) Only by virtue of the fact that I tend to blog about teaching and education. My sense of community comes more from twitter and my blog is an extension of that
If so, what does that community give you? – The Twitter community gives me ideas, feedback and something to aspire to. That spills over into the blog but has noticeably increased since Twitter became more widely used.
What do you think are the advantages of blogging? What are its disadvantages/ limitations?
Firstly it allows me with a space to both reflect on what I’ve done and ponder aloud about some of my broader ideas about teaching and education. This process helps firm up those ideas, helps hold myself to account and in a few cases build a conversation around an idea with commentators.
Secondly it provides me with an audience (however largely invisible) with who to engage. This in turn encourages me to read more blogs and comment more myself, extending the range of ideas and conversations in which I’m involved.
Limitations are largely related to time – I have ideas for at least as many posts that don’t reach the light of day as are published. It can also be quite frustrating if you write a post expecting a conversation and one doesn’t come.
Do you tell people you know offline that you’re a blogger? (e.g. your grandmother, your boss)
It’s not the first thing I tell people, but at the same time I don’t keep it a particular secret. I mention it if it comes up.
Is there anything else you want to tell me about I haven’t asked?
There have been several times when I lost track of blogging, stopped and struggled to restart. There have also been times I’ve beaten myself up over not blogging as often as I think I should be (usually inspired by others).
Each time I’ve come back to it. And I’m now much more comfortable as an ‘occasional’ blogger. That said, that sense of failing to reach unrealistic challenge, either in terms of how often you publish, or the level of the comments received could be a challenge to people getting into blogging for the first time.