Tuesday, December 20, 2005

2005 reflections

It’s coming close to the end of the year and it seems a good time to reflect on all that I have learnt since I started this blogging adventure. I’ve had it in my mind for a while to write such a reflection but have been so busy reading (and being speechless) I haven’t written. Then I read Graham Wegner’s post and found so many similarities between his experiences and mine. I started reading blogs about 18 months ago starting with my friend Scott’s blog and just kept reading. Sometimes I read from his blogroll as well but I felt a little bit like that was o.k. for these people: they were young enough, techie enough, maybe radical enough, but I wasn’t anything like that. Scott seemed, however, to assume that it was not totally impossible that I might one day start a blog but I was fearful. What if I made a mistake, what if I wrote something wrong, what if …. Oh well I’m sure you know the kind of thing. Then one day in May I stumbled across a podcast by Steve Dembo (I wonder if it was the same one, Graham) and through him found Will Richardson and David Warlick (it must have been the same one) and all of a sudden the world seemed to open up. At one particular point when faced with the Blogger home page it just seemed easier to start a blog than to continue to resist. And boy was it fun. Like Graham I found myself encouraged by Will Richardson, and the sense of community I found in the Worldbridges webcasts (as well as meeting Daf and Bee and others from the Webheads in Action) cannot be overestimated. When I started my blog I was still a bit cautious so I wanted to be anonymous. I called myself Reflective Teacher and then listened to Scott Lockman’s podcast. He referred to my blog (“he or she”) and I knew then that I didn’t want to be anonymous (at least not nongender specific – I know Ms Frizzle does it (be anonymous, that is, with class). As part of the edublogging community I wanted to be me, so I added the subheading for my blog “constructing an identity in the blogosphere”. Later still I added a photo which I would never have dreamed of before – I normally hate photos of myself. But this photo was taken by my fourteen year old son without me expecting it. I had just received my school supplied PDA which came complete with camera (though I didn’t know how to work it) and then he just snapped the photo. I like it. Later still I added my email contact details as part of being open to my community (not that I get many emails from readers – yet). I am amazed at all that has happened, and I haven’t even begun to speak of all that I have learnt from reading, reflecting and commenting and receiving comments. Or the joys and learning experiences of blogging with my Year 9 students and the contact with Clarence Fisher’s class. I would like to thank Clarence for his inspiration and guidance. To top it all off being nominated for Best Teacher Blog in the Edublog Awards (I was just blown away and to be honest I found it hard to write after that – I was speechless). I am just so glad to be on the same page as Anne Davis and Konrad Glogowski (who has just been contacted by a mainstream radio station to speak about blogging) Good on both of you for your win in the category. You deserve it and I find you both very inspiring. I plan on continuing on this journey with a various group of very fine teachers who show a range and depth of thought about learning and education that makes me feel quite optimistic about my profession. I’ll be doing a lot of professional reading over the holidays as part of my studies (which have taken a backseat in the middle of all this informal professional development) so I’ll be continuing to post my reflections about my reading and planning for next year.


  1. Jo,
    What a great reflective peace. Your phrase "all of a sudden the world seemed to open up" is so perfect. And just think, we can pass that feeling on to our students. Wow! Thanks for sharing. Your blog is always filled with insights and reflections. I love reading it.

  2. I have seen a bit of a change, not only in my use of technology, but in everyday use of technology by all people. More than just being connected all of the time, we are looking at why we are connected and getting those devices that solve problems, and not just make us look good (though the success of the RAZR from Motorola does make me wince a bit). But the truth is out there, and it basically says that after years of computers taking us away from personal interactions with one another, we are now looking at computers to come alongside of our usages so we can be productive.

  3. Jo, perhaps our New Year's resolution should be to bring more Aussies to the edublogging conversation. I really appreciate your post and thanks for your Antipodean support. Your comments left on my blog have always been timely and helped me when I felt like I was in a conversation with myself. Hey, I cast my votes your way in the Edublogger Awards - I was hoping that you'd win! It was also great that you took the time to comment on a couple of my colleagues' infant blogs - I hope they get enthused and want to get involved in this amazing community. What better way to learn about and understand the point of view of another education sector. Though your blog, I think I understand a high school perspective a bit better. Keep up the good work and I'll keep pointing people towards The Open Classroom.

  4. Hey, Jo. All your ribbing about me never commeting on your blog finally got to me.

    Congrats on all your success this year. I'm glad I could help in some small way. You too have done plenty for me! My own blog is getting a little tired and needs a fresh perspective and a new life.

    I'll be taking care of that in the new year.

    When are you making the move?

  5. What a great way to celebrate the end of the year. These reflections bring us closer as a community. Our community has grown this year in bredth and depth. As more voices join us and as more people find their way into reading our thoughts and leaving theirs behind, we can only grow. As you give it away, knowledge grows instead of diminishing; a rare thing thing in our world.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. This is a wonderful tribute, Jo - in many ways: your passion for blogging, for honesty, for transparency; your reflective strengths - and great links to blogs, podcasts and books I might otherwise have missed; your teaching insights; your straightforward, uncompromising style.

    I feel very privileged to have met you, to blog with you, and to share your enthusiasm. You're a great blogger - and a great mate! I guesss that maybe one day you'll convince me to be as open as you are!

    Happy Birthday!