Over my half-term in October, I gave up a day of my holidays to attend a CPD session with the legendary education speaker Gervase Phinn. During the excellent session, we examined different ways in which we could tackle the problem of boys underachievement in Literacy. As explained in my blog, I left the session with my blood boiling. It dawned on me that I will have more than 40 years in the profession before I reach pension age, and I was disillusioned with the way in which politicians were interfering negatively with the education system.
As I made the 80 minute journey back down the motorway, I switched off the radio and allowed the blog to write itself in my head. When I reached home, I opened my battered old laptop and allowed my thoughts to spill out onto the computer. At that point, I had left my twitter and blog idle for over three months. I had few more than an accumulated amount of 3000 views altogether, on all of my previous blogs in the few months prior to that, around 200 followers and I genuinely didn’t think that the piece would be read by many. The broken (temperamental) apostrophe key and absence of a ‘J’ button did little to discourage me as I found the experience deeply therapeutic. When I had finished, I tiredly and lazily did a spell check through the blog, which must have an American dictionary, and hit post. (With hindsight, this was a mistake. I appreciate that many of you will feel that these errors may damage my argument but having left it for so long, I am reluctant to change the piece. I ask that you can see past that to focus on the issue at hand.) That night it had 60 views which exceeded my expectations. What followed humbled me greatly.
In the coming weeks, my blog was shared among educationalists and those who have an interest in the education system. The blog stats went through the roof as the blog was repeatedly shared on Twitter, Facebook and various other forums. One Sunday afternoon, the blog had 25,000 hits. It dawned on me that my anger at the system was shared by many of you out there. I dismantled the moderation on comments so that all views could be expressed on the blog. Although there were several negative comments, many echoed their support of my views and ideas. Indeed one day I sat in my staffroom as my blog post was passed around on a mobile device and one-by-one the teaching staff read and stated their admiration for the articulation and conviction of the post, unaware that the author sat among them.
Tonight, after a resurgence which has seen the post gain another 30,000 hits in 3 days resulting in my blog passing 200,000 views, I wish to thank all of you who have taken the time to comment on my blog, share my links or simply read what I have written; regardless of whether you agree or disagree with what I have said. As a classroom practitioner who looks towards this blog in my free time, I never expected it to have the audience that it has had so far. It is clear that many practitioners disagree with what is happening in our schools, and I sincerely hope I get to see the day when politicians release the system back into the hands of educational experts who can base their policies on tried and tested strategies to improve education in this country for the better.
Until then, thanks again for your time and support.