As far as I know, I'm the only education recruitment consultant (for the UK anyway) who blogs.
I've actually been blogging since 2005, when my friend from teacher's college suggested that I start one to tell my friends and family back home about my experience teaching and living in London, England. In those days, I was really struggling with my teaching career and had just started working as a recruiter for the agency that brought me over (not Classroom). I was trying desperately to make changes to the company, to make it more supportive & successful and kept butting heads every move I made.
I wasn't a particularly positive person and was all 'round having a rough time of things in London, so blogging was my way of venting my frustrations and talking about my personal life. Needless to say, it wasn't a very good idea. I started various blogs anonymously. People I didn't want to read them eventually found them and figured out who I was and it made matters worse. I never wrote about the schools or students, so it mostly just affected my personal life, but it wasn't a whole lot of fun. It didn't help that my personal life was also a big ol' mess at the time.
Anyway, here I am today, writing a blog about teaching in London from a Canadian perspective and I have to say - I love it! I love that I don't have to hide who I am, and that you all actually read this thing! I love that teachers from coast to coast, and in areas that I don't even visit, manage to find this blog and end up eventually teaching with us in London. I love that our American neighbours to the south read it and that I can help them by simply writing. It's the easiest thing to do, and it makes a world of difference. I like to think so anyway!
Siobhan had this to say about blogging for teachers:
I’d recommend blogging to all teachers who want to make sense of their teaching experiences. A blog can be public or private. Even if you write only for yourself, or allow access only to close friends, it provides perspective, much like a diary does: writing about a problem makes it more manageable. If you make your blog public, it can also provide help: if you put some effort into reading others’ blogs and responding to their posts, they will do the same for you.
I couldn't agree more.
We have plenty of teachers who blog and plenty who just read the blogs and leave comments. I highly recommend that teachers blog but... be very careful about how you do it. Is it for therapy like my initial blogs? Or do you blog to help other teachers understand the process you go through? Who is your audience? Parents of your students? They will find your blog. So will your students.
Siobhan Curious uses a fake name, which makes a lot of sense if you want to blog about teaching. If you want to blog about traveling and being a foreign teacher in the UK like some of our teachers do, then you will probably keep your writing fairly safe and not rock too many boats.
I personally use my real name, and post in online forums as me. I know that people will see my name & Classroom Canada and know that I am clearly biased towards my little company. I'd rather that they make that assumption than use a fake name as other recruiters do, but I have been criticized for posting at all. Some people just hate teaching agencies and think we shouldn't post in teacher forums. I disagree, but I've worked for not-so-great agencies before so I get where they're coming from.
Here are some other teacher bloggers that I recommend you check out:
Classroom Canada Teachers Blog - This is a collective blog written by a handful of our teachers and teaching assistants.
Across the Pond - Jodi & Tyson are a teacher/teaching assistant team who just arrived in London last week and have been writing about their process from the beginning. They found my blog & apparently decided to go to London because of it. I love these guys!
Heather in the UK - Heather is one of our teachers in London, and her writing is beautiful. I wish I could write like her and I wish she posted more often, but she is a very busy Canadian teacher traveling all around Europe and teaching in London, so I am just happy she writes at all.
Bryn the Brit - Bryn is a teaching assistant and so much more. She teaches swing dancing and drama and writes about her adventures in this new blog. Please encourage her by leaving comments!
Just Take Me Where I've Never Been Before - Erika is in her second year of teaching in London and I'm so happy that she's finally started her own blog to tell her tales. She's a fabulous writer and has a very witty style. In her own words: "Everyone who reads this should know that I am in London for my second year of teaching and exploration. This will not be a documentation of my adjusting to life in the UK. I've done that already." I love this and really hope she doesn't mind me posting it here.
Get an Eyepatch Man - Amie and Morgan just arrived in London and love food more than anyone else I know. I love food, so I really love this blog. They seem to be writing mostly for family & friends, but since they haven't made it a closed audience, and I think they're brilliant, I am sharing it with you. Hope that's okay with them!
Where is Kirbie? Kirbie is a teacher from New Brunswick who will soon be moving to London. She writes about the whole process of moving to the UK and has a clear writing style that I really enjoy. I can't wait to read the posts she writes when she eventually gets to London!
There are a tonne of other blogs that I read, but this is a good list of Canadian teachers in London anyway. Please check them out, leave comments and encourage them along. If you'd like to start a blog yourself, check out "How to Write a Teacher Blog."
What do you think? Do you blog or just read blogs? Please share your thoughts below!
To become part of the Classroom Canada team, sign up for our newsletters & apply through our website.Be sure to read the Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians to help you understand everything you need to know about teaching in London.