1001 steps to becoming a good teacher

There is a lot to think about.

It started like this.

quiverquotes.com

My opinion hasn’t changed from the day I read your first story—you should write a book or a memoir or a collection of teaching stories.

This was a bit of an ego boost especially coming from her.

I was feeling that I could use my Cooking blog better. (But thanks for all the encouragement I got from you all.)

And then the ideas came in. I’m going to list some of them briefly and tell you what I was thinking.

First from apetcher.wordpress.com

I think you need a good title, a big hook as it were. “round Ireland with a Fridge” was a great title and a big seller but really quite mediocre in content.  Ans  Good idea

Then you need a consistent formula.   Ans  Good idea  I know what I want to do. Thanks.

johnknifton.com

My advice would be to do exactly what YOU want to do.  Just think about how you want your book to go, and make a start.  Ans  Exactly.  I know what I want to do. Thanks.

garrulousgwendoline.wordpress.com

Why are you writing?  Ans I’ll tell you in a minute.
Who is your audience?  Ans I’ll tell you in a minute.
Would you like to get published?   Ans  Of course I would. But it isn’t necessary
There is a school of thought that handwriting triggers neural pathways and is more creative than direct typing.

If you don’t blog (any more) , then you will not receive instant feedback.

quiverquotes.com

I copied all Q’s suggestions and put them on an A4 card to keep on my desk. I won’t put them here..

leggypeggy.com

Why don’t you create a TedTalk spiel that encompasses your teaching experiences, advice and successes. That would be fun and I will definitely think about it.

derrickjknight.wordpress.com

Film or TV scripts?  Yes. But you must follow a very strict formula and I am too lazy.

From an unnamed contributor.  Start a pod cast series.

The result of a lot of thought;

First of all thanks a lot to you all. And if I missed you above it is because what you said was bleeding obvious.

I am not going to start a book. I am too lazy and disorganised to do that. I would love to have some one come and sit down with me over coffee (in the morning) or a glass of single malt (in the evening) and write it for me but that ain’t gonna happen.

I am going to hijack my cooking blog and start it as a teaching /education blog. Gwen, you and Q said I should ask “Why am I writing?” I am writing because I have been extraordinarily lucky to have survived making as many mistakes as I did. In most case I learned from these mistakes. Also, I have seen over forty-five years that a majority of teacher graduates have been sent like lambs to the slaughter without more than one or two arrows in their quiver. (And that is as mixed a metaphor as I could construct.)  One time in particular I came across a recent graduate sitting in the back of her class curled up like a baby and crying because she felt she had failed miserably. She hadn’t. The school and her teaching college failed her. Things like that angered me.

I was lucky in so many ways and I would like to pass off some of that luck to others before it is too late.

I do not give a toss what people might say after I am dead. I like talking about things now.

Why do I want it to be a blog? Quite simply because I love talking to you. There are some blogs where the post is someone telling me something and that is the end of it. A bit like being in church and listening to a sermon that may or may not be interesting. I like blogs that are a conversation. It is like being at a dinner party where the conversation goes round the table and back and forth.

As for a formula – I plan each post will start with an anecdote and end with my idea of something that any young teacher needs to know. (I might have to work around that a bit) And I will try to stick to the Andrewpetcher rule and keep to as close as possible to 800 words.

I will start from where I started, way back to when I left school. Maybe even before that. I will probably need to write a bit about the different schools because each one taught me different things.  But I do think it will be chronological because I developed as the year proceeded. I will of course, be dredging up pages from earlier posts and earlier blogs.

And a title. Maybe you can tell me. The theme will be “1001 steps to becoming a good teacher.”

I won’t start until you have all had your say.

 

14 thoughts on “1001 steps to becoming a good teacher

  1. I suspected you would prefer to keep with the blogging. All the same, either type it in word first then upload, or vice-versa, and put a print-out in a folder. You just never, ever know if you – or a descendant – will want to develop the material further.

    Oh! And don’t forget to have fun 🙂

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  2. I’d give some thought to whether it should be in chronological order, it can be a bit restrictive, themes might work better and provides an opportunity to drift!

    How about something like ‘Chalk Dust and Red Pen’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Andrew. Like the title. Might be generally in chronological order because as I moved from one school to the next a different ethos permeated the whole deal.

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  3. “I won’t start until you have all had your say.”

    I’m not sure what the question is—there are branchings and contradictory clues in this post—so here’s a somewhat relevant disquisition on writing books.

    Why write?

    One reason is money. It’s valid and good and something to aspire to, but I don’t think that’s your primary motive. So let’s skip it.

    One reason is a place in history: e.g. giving a toss about what people say after you’re dead. Were that the case with you, I suspect you would have gotten on with writing a book ages ago. I’m not surprise this isn’t the case with you.

    Another reason is a persistent, insuppressible urge to write, wherever you are, whatever the consequences. Sounds like this might be half of your reason, coming in the form of “I like talking about things now.”

    Yet another reason is altruistic: the family might want to know, others out there should hear about the experience, you have a message to tell which is unique and important and you’d like to transmit it because you believe in its inherent value. Sounds like you believe this, when you say: “I was lucky in so many ways and I would like to pass off some of that luck to others before it is too late.”

    The question is: how much can be imparted via a blog to an audience that doesn’t largely consist of young teachers? (Correct me if I’m wrong, perhaps this is the majority of your readers are young teachers.) If you persist, and your posts go viral, perhaps your new blog will become a nationwide resource, perhaps someone will come around, sit with you over a coffee and write for you. But unless that happens, what you write remains in blog format. This is indexable by search engines, and will probably remain available to the world as long as the internet exists in some form, but honestly—really honestly—do you think young teachers (today or) in a few decades time will browse around for tips on blogs? No matter how many times the end of books has been prophesied, it hasn’t happened. I reckon the go-to format (is and) will still be some kind of organised e-book format. Maybe someone else will collate the posts you’ve written and publish them as their own material. Maybe.

    “I am not going to start a book.“

    What is a chapter in a book that gives tips to people? It’s usually an anecdote with a tip appended. Hmm. If you’re already sticking to that format in your blog, why not copy-paste it as a chapter into your writing program? (Also I’m confused: why print my suggestions for book-making if you’re not starting a book?)

    “I am too lazy and disorganised to do that.”

    But you’re industrious enough to post regularly and organised enough to stick to a format (anecdote, tip, 800 word count, blog post)?

    “I would love to have some one come and sit down with me over coffee (in the morning) or a glass of single malt (in the evening) and write it for me but that ain’t gonna happen.”

    Is this really what you mean? I suggested your write your stories (I also meant the fiction ones) because, well, it’s *you* writing! There are a million ways to express the same original content, but it seemed like you enjoyed expressing it in your own words. If you don’t, then my suggestions are void.

    (No matter how prescient any piece of advice, if delivered in the wrong voice it’s worthless, if not straight unhelpful. I thought your voice was the correct, helpful one for your message.)

    “I will start from where I started, way back to when I left school. Maybe even before that. I will probably need to write a bit about the different schools because each one taught me different things. But I do think it will be chronological because I developed as the year proceeded. I will of course, be dredging up pages from earlier posts and earlier blogs.“

    This is very organised. To me this sounds like you’re doing the groundwork for a book. So, again, I’m confused.

    Conclusion: I think you *are* starting your book no matter how much you say you’re not. In fact, you’re doing so publicly, online, on this new blog. Stick it out with the format you suggested, and you’ll get the most of both worlds: you’ll get feedback, the back-and-forth, and you’ll get a structure. The content will be more systematic, chronological, and in chapter form. The larger shapes and themes will emerge, as will eventually a whole—a book, yes—which you can pass on to the next generation of young teachers.

    In the meantime: A writer is allowed to tell themselves whatever it takes to make the journey from scratch to manuscript pleasant, including “I’m not writing a book“ and “I’m lazy“—Yay for the creative, contradictory powers of self-persuasion. This is also an excellent hunting ground for meta-anecdotes to be included in an Introduction; I can already see a potential first line of yours: *I never started writing this book.*

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  4. P.S. The words between stars come out as italics on some websites, I suppose they don’t on yours—but that is what I intended.

    P.P.S. Did you know that random font colourings do not show up in the Reader? I usually read your posts in the Reader and see the font as normal, black. Recently, I randomly had a gander at your website and boy was I shocked by the violent blue and red lettering! (I have to admit I prefer the black and white, though, so I’ll stick to the Reader.)

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      1. “Vehemently drawing attention away from the content of your writing (and to the colouring of the font)” may have been a lengthier, more precise way of saying it. Thanks for acknowledging my input.

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