I have been on Twitter since 2013, keenly reading blog posts about education and making the odd contribution to discussions. Whilst Twitter can be a pretty visceral and unpleasant ‘place’, I am really pleased that I signed up. I am convinced that the ideas and arguments I have been exposed to have made me a much better, more confident, and happier teacher.
I feel that I joined Twitter at the right time; Daisy Christodoulou had just released the electronic edition of her contentious book, Seven Myths about Education, and Twitter felt fertile for debate. It was not long before I came across Andrew Old. I remember naively – and arrogantly – thinking, ‘This guy just doesn’t get it’. Despite feeling that he was some sort of anachronism, I was drawn to his writing, so I decided to follow him. Within a number of days, my thoughts concerning teaching changed dramatically. I read Daisy’s book – initially with a view to dismiss it – and quickly came to the realisation that the self-evident truths about education I had bought into were not actually self-evident after all.
In the coming days, weeks, months, and years, I came to read the work of the following people, to whom I feel indebted:
- Joe Kirby – As an English teacher, Joe has influenced me more than any other teacher. Whilst, evidently not to everyone’s liking, knowledge organisers have transformed my teaching.
- Katie Ashford – Katie’s work on the ‘Show Sentence’ influenced me a lot.
- Greg Ashman – I really like Greg’s writing style. He must be one of the most prolific teacher bloggers on Twitter.
- David Didau – Like Greg, at one point David was so prolific that I found it difficult to keep up-to-date with his blog posts. His ‘What if everything you knew about education was wrong?’ was and is immensely useful.
- Michael Fordham – Again, I really like Michael’s writing style. You can tell that he puts a tremendous amount of thought into his blog posts. Also, he comes across as one of the most composed and reasonable people on Twitter.
- Heather Fearn – Similarly to Michael, Heather clearly puts a great deal of thought into her writing. She is very clear and engaging, and her blog posts are always amongst my favourites.
- Martin Robinson – I am indebted to Martin for introducing me to the Trivium. I find Martin’s blog posts to be very thought-provoking; I often hesitate before clicking on links to his posts, as I know he is going to make my head hurt.
Despite following the education debate on Twitter from the side-lines, I have been reluctant to blog. For the most part, I feel that what I have to say has already been said – and far more eloquently – before. Time is also a huge factor, and I am also put off by the thought of being drawn into petty arguments. However, since it is a new year, I have decided to finally give blogging a go, in the hope that it will help me to sharpen my thoughts and might prove useful to someone somewhere in the way that the blogs of the aforementioned people have proven useful to me.