Why I want my colleagues to blog

North Berwick High School is a medium-sized school, with 6 teachers in the maths department. East Lothian Council is a small authority with 6 high schools, and around 50 maths teachers.

Since beginning my secondment (one day per week) I've had the opportunity to visit each of the schools in East Lothian and spend time in the maths departments. As I've said elsewhere, these visits have been fascinating for me, and I've been struck by the professionalism and committment of the teachers I've visited. I've learnt from and been inspired by my encounters.

At the end of this year, my secondment will come to an end, and I will no longer have the opportunity to meet with colleagues - most maths teachers never have that opportunity.

It seems to me that by establishing an online community we can all, as maths teachers in East Lothian, benefit from enriching encounters with our colleagues. This will be good for everyone, but in particular it will be great for me! I really don't want to lose contact with the great people I've met over the last few weeks. Face-to-face meetings are simply not feasible on a regular basis, but blogs will allow us to keep the conversations alive.

"But why blogs?" - I hear you say. "Why can't we just email each other?". There are many reasons, but for me the main one is that communication via blogs is open - anyone is free to join in, and everyone can see what everyone else is talking about.

The new Exc-el blogs are now up and running, thanks to David, so tomorrow I'm going to register every maths teacher in East Lothian as a contributor to a new blog for all maths teachers. My hope is that soon many maths teachers will set up their own blogs, but in the meantime they'll be able to dip their toes in the water with this collaborative one.

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