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.


  1. And as a non maths teacher I would love to see how you teach - we can all learn from it.

  2. Good luck with this project Robert – If you can pull it off and just get 50% of the Math Teachers in East Lothian Sharing ideas I think you will have succeeded in your goal. Imagine if we could get every teacher (regardless of subject) to contribute one idea or classroom successes every week (or even month) think how much new and evolving practice we would be able so share within East Lothian and the wider education community.

  3. It's only through someone like yourself that we can encourage teachers and others to keep blogs - any other form of "encouragement" from people like myself carries with it the implication of direction and imposition. There will be a tipping point out there but we do have a long way to go - if I can help in any way..........

  4. Interesting initiative. I like the idea of a collaborative blog whereas I am yet to be sold on the idea of individual ones. In another sphere I am a fairly regular contributor to - and very regular reader of - a bulletin board. Can you persuade me the advantages of blogging.

  5. If there's anything I can do to help, let me know.
    BTW, I liked this 3-column design, so have just made it (3K2) - and 3some - available on Exc-el, so you could use it for the interactivemaths blog if you want.

  6. [...] In reply to my last post, Robin Strain asked “Can you persuade me the advantages of blogging?” Great question Robin - I think it deserves a fresh post [...]

  7. I have wanted to do this for a long time. I would love to do a 'blog' with my SG and Higher classes. Are we restricted to type-pad, or would the council entertain


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