When I was looking for info about spelling apps a few months ago, someone on Twitter suggested I follow a teacher friend of theirs, who might be able to help; and sure enough, she gave me some great suggestions. Since then, I’ve also been following how she integrates blogging into teaching with her Year 4 class. (That’s one of the things I love about Twitter – it gives me a whole lot of windows onto things I’d never have thought about).
I was idly scrolling through my twitter feed whilst waiting for no.1 son to finish his swimming lesson, and saw a tweet inviting comments on the pupils posts (they love getting comments from readers of their blog – but then don’t we all!) They’d been shown the cover of a book – The Rabbits, by John Marsden – and they’d been asked to write their predictions for what the story might be about, based on the images on the cover. So I headed to the blog, meaning to comment on a couple of the kids posts, and did so. But then I saw some of the kids hadn’t had any comments at all, so I thought I would comment on those too, and then I felt kind of mean not commenting on everyone’s posts, so I ended up commenting on all 22 of them.
It’s taken me ages! I wanted to find something different to say about each post, as they deserved – the kids had obviously worked really hard and some of the descriptions they gave were AMAZING – but by the time I got half way through I was running out of inspiration, and not because the kids work wasn’t great – it was! But treating each post as individually as it deserved was not as easy as I’d thought, and I found myself thinking about how hard it would be to maintain this level of enthusiasm if I was having to actually mark work every night, or even just a couple of times a week.
I’ve heard plenty of sarcy comments about teachers having short days and long holidays, and I’ve never really subscribed to that camp. But equally I have never actually thought about how difficult it must be, every single day, to make every single child in your class feel that their work is special and to give each one the attention they deserve. There must be times when all the projects on the weather, or space travel, or the Romans, just merge into one big blurry mass. They do for me, and only two of my kids get homework at the moment! To be able to teach and motivate a whole class of kids, all with different needs and abilities, and to make each one of them feel like they matter, and to keep that up every day of the term – I don’t reckon I could do that, not in a million years.
So Big Up to all you teachers out there – and thank you!