On my 4th Blogoversary

Exactly four years ago today I wrote my first blog post for The Learning Profession. Last year I wrote this post summarising my first three years being on Edu-Twitter/blogging and the transformative effect it has had on my thinking and practice.

The past year has been a busy one for me personally with the arrival of baby number three, Beatrix, at the start of November. Consequently I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front though, when I look back, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few awesome edu-things.

Last June I was back at #rEDRugby but this time with my co-presenter Claire Hill. Later that month we spoke together at the amazing #EducationFest at Wellington (where I also showed Claire how to make a proper cup of tea, witnessed David Didau fall off his chair and met Susie Dent).

Caroline Spalding and I finished the academic year by hosting the first ever Team English National Conference in Salisbury. What a privilege to work with such a talented woman who was instrumental in the success of the event. I loved seeing so many English teachers in my school and having a dream line up of speakers. Thank you so much to everybody who came!

In September I gave my last presentation of 2018 at the ResearchED National Conference and also picked up a copy of the rED Magazine which included my article on introducing desirable difficulties.

This year, after a few months adjusting to a new little person in the home, I’ve been out and about again. Back in February I presented at Putney High School’s CPD day which was a great warm up ahead of #rEDBrum and #rEDBlackpool before reuniting with Claire Hill at #rEDDurrington. I’d like to thank everyone who has heard me speak this year – it means a lot!

My appetite for #rED events is never sated. I’ve come away from every event with so much to think about with my ideas challenged and shaped by those that I’ve seen speak. A shout out in particular to Tom Needham, Sarah Barker and Ruth Walker for giving me so much to think about in recent months in terms of KS3 curriculum design – your #rED talks were awesome!

I’ve also written a few piece for the Tes since last May about the small things that make a big difference when moving schools, how to succeed as a new middle leader, five ways to improve performance management, mock exams: how to cut workload and my teacher training experience.

It’s also been a pleasure writing for Teach Secondary on tackling unseen poetry and having greater expectations for KS3.

I’m returning to work next term and looking forward to being back in the classroom. I’m also looking forward to presenting at #CurriculumED2019, #rEDRugby, #EducationFest, #TLTLeeds, #rED19, #rEDSurrey, #rEDDublin and #rEDKent (all before Christmas and my December wedding…).

One of the things I’m most excited about, though, is that I’m going to be hosting a brand new Tes podcast: The Leadership Podcast. You’ll be able to listen in from September!

The best thing about Edu-Twitter is that I’ve met so many amazing people who give me support and who I have the honour of calling my friends. I’m so thankful I made the decision to start blogging and join Twitter four years ago – my life (both personal and professional) is all the richer for it.

I can’t list everybody but I’d like to say a special thank you to Grainne Hallahan, Sarah Barker, Amy Forrester and Sana Master for being my inspirations, my daily support and the best #TeamBride a girl could ask for. A big thank you to Claire Hill for being such a fabulous co-presenter and for putting up with me from across the country (I’m sorry for not behaving when we do FaceTime run throughs). And lots of love to Adam Boxer, Ruth Walker, Stephen Lane, Louisa Jurkiewicz, Pritesh Raichura, Deep Ghataura and Bob Pritchard – LUSM.

Here’s the blogs I did manage to write this year (I intend to get back to blogging this year):

On AQA Lit Subject Knowledge Gems

On what a research-informed classroom actually looks like #EducationFest

On our #rEDDurrington presentation: Making the Most of CPD Part 1

On our #rEDDurrington presentation: Making the Most of CPD Part 2

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog and has made me feel like I have something worth sharing.


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