I’m drafting this blog post on Evernote, knowing it will sync across all of my devices. I will then edit into Windows Live Writer and my blog and then I’ll tweet the link, which will be copied onto my Friends’ Facebook walls. I am keen to develop a learning community and the feedback and information from these powerful tools is brilliant. I am confident about receiving a wide range of advice about how I could blog and post with even greater productivity. DHSB is launching an i-pad pilot today being led by @steve.margetts and the school is on the brink of revolutionising its learning environment.
Yet I’ve also spent a few hours this half term updating and re-reading my A4 reflective journal. I used paper and a pen and when I’d finished a kind of inner peace swept through me. A legacy from the NPQH era but also resonant with my Action research reflective journaling during training, reading and writing for me is therapeutic and a process that will last my career. Maybe it’s an age thing?
I have tabbed the book into years and also into the terms of the year; I feel they have rhythms. How were things developing at this time in the last four years? Are there patterns? The journal contains four years of evidence-based approaches to school improvement and decision making, some good some bad but I have never made the same mistake twice.
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.” (Mark Twain)
The journal is also a record of “state of mind” reflections – all the emotions are there, from joy to rage to sorrow. it’s good to look back and see that things get better when everything seems to be going wrong and good to be reminded how flexible and prepared for the unexpected we need to be in schools. Anyone can walk through your door on any given day and change things.
Leadership is about demonstrating a consistent approach with humanity, urgency and humour but it is also about filtering, protecting and re-framing. Some of these things should not be repeated to anyone but ourselves.
Social media is a wonderful tool for sharing and will be a crucial element in our community move towards online ubiquity but it seems that some people are increasingly sharing the things that should be for their eyes only. Today there will be a high court hearing surrounding vicious Facebook attacks. I have been forced to un-friend and block people who have surprised me with comments and posts that do them no credit.
I am not an advocate of thought-policing but it would be worrying if our internal dialogue was lost to an external dopamine hit, if the need to get a response became more important than honest self reflection and thinking – alone.
We still deal occasionally with issues arising from some highly intelligent students who seem bent on destroying their nascent reputations with immoderate language and hurtful statements. Having strong opinions and a passionate vocabulary isn’t an offence but sharing them publicly can be offensive. Put them in a diary. Take to pen and paper.
I am ready for the challenges and opportunities of this half term; a casual review of my calendar suggests that these are going to be six exhilarating weeks. I’ll enjoy reading about them and learning from them at the start of the summer break.
Does Social media signal the end of the diary? How do you use journaling?