Monday, November 21, 2011

500, 100,000: Design, Re-sign, Resign

Today I'm writing my 500th post and by coincidence this is the day that the readership of my blog has passed the 100,000 mark.  It's been an interesting journey over the past two years, one which has enriched my life tremendously.  Earlier on this week I started to think about what I wanted to write about for my 500th post but in the end I decided I'd just change the design a little instead.  What I really want to say, though, is a very big thank you to all the people who have supported me through the various posts, and who have pushed my thinking in new directions.  It has been so tough to continue to write my blog at times while working at a school that has actively discouraged it, but the rewards have more than made up for it.  Being part of a community of bloggers who think, and then write, and then rethink has been wonderful.  I would never have connected with these exceptional educators without my blog.  Reading their blogs and their thoughts, following them on their journeys, has been the best professional development I've ever received.  Thank you all - your thoughts and words have made me a better teacher.

How do I know what I'm thinking, until I hear what I say?  (Irish quotation)
As I've mentioned before, the number 1 person I write my blog for is myself.  I have lots of ideas milling around in my head, and of course I talk about these ideas with the many wonderful colleagues I work with, but these ideas only really become something I can act upon when I write them down.  Writing them down gives them structure and helps me organize them, helps turn the thoughts into actions.  Feedback on my thoughts from those people who I don't work with and most of whom I have never met, lets them develop in a deeper way.  It gives me new perspectives.  It shows me there is light at the end of the tunnel.  It gives me hope that even if I can't make a difference and move forward where I am right now, there are plenty of other educators out there who believe what I believe and are moving in the same direction as I am.  It shows me that there are better ways of doing things.  That there are educators who value reflection and critical thinking and that there are schools where I can really make a difference - schools that will encourage me to become the best educator I can be.

At the end of a teacher's first contract at our school they are asked to re-sign.  This changes their contract from a temporary one to a permanent one.  This is the time of year when teachers are thinking about whether they want to re-sign or resign.  It's strange that these words, which mean totally the opposite of each other, actually sound the same.  That when I hear a teacher say "I've decided to re-sign/resign" I have to ask if this means they are going or staying.

For me I'm definitely going.  I'm happy and excited about the future, even though I don't yet know where I'll end up.  I'm ready to move onto something new.  I want to be somewhere different and do something different, and I'm really excited by all the new IT jobs that are coming up in schools that are not just looking to the future but who are actively embracing it.  I want to be part of it, not just someone watching from the sidelines.  I feel like I've been away from the cutting edge of technology for far too long.  I'm very happy to be setting sail, even though I don't yet know what's over the horizon.

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