Monday, April 11, 2011

Accolades, Blogging & Coming to Terms......As Easy as ABC

In the good, old, early days of blogging, & the new Mummy Blogger phenomenon, when everyone was giving each other awards, being in the Tots 100 Index was the mark of Mummyblogger success & people were appearing in magazine articles, or being interviewed by a Mums' websites etc; bloggers would coyly put up a post (if they were British) or with a fanfare of trumpets (if they were just about anyone else) drawing attention to their particular success.

And why not? That's why bloggers love comments, it shows people read you & have engaged with your subject. It affirms & encourages you. It works the same with awards & so on. It makes you feel it was worth all the hard work.

I must confess I am not at all 'techy', (you mean, you noticed?.....) I am not very good at putting myself out there, 'increasing traffic', jumping through all the hoops, I keep reading that I need to, in order to get more followers, more traffic etc. I honestly don' t know how people manage to do it, & have a real life & a family & work too. The little I do do takes me long enough! So maybe I don't work hard enough at it. The writing comes more naturally, the 'putting myself out there' doesn't. And now it's all about monetising your blog, advertising, sponsored posts & making your blog 'count' or pay. And I feel all at sea again.

So I just bumble along. I keep writing because I love it, even though I wonder sometimes why I do it (& whether I will carry on once back in the 'normal' UK). I think I do it to make sense of the extraordinary 5 1/2 years I've spent abroad. And that's another reason why this blog will never be very popular in Mummy-blogger or Expat-blogger terms. I find I have to write about stuff which happens & is relatively normal here. But it doesn't always make for light hearted reading. it's also about a country people know little about, & probably care even less about.

I am not making excuses, I'm not complaining. It's just that something happened on Friday which made me feel like I was barking up the wrong tree & should just accept who I am & what I am good at! I always want to fit in & be good at whatever I try my hand at, but deep down I have always felt I don't fit neatly into any particular category in the blogging world & don't seem to have my finger on the zeitgeist pulse of what people want to read (oweeee, how's that for a jumbled metaphor) and it frustrates me, especially amongst so many who are so good & do it so effortlessly.

So what happened? Well on Friday the little nascent high school I teach at put on their play. It was called "The Jolly Roger". I don't teach drama at the school & had nothing to do with it. My IGCSE students kept asking if I was coming & how it wouldn't be the same without me there (which I thought rather strange) So I went along with 6 & 10 y-o in tow. I was handed a programme & inside was an insert from the cast which said this:

I blotted out my name, but it was addressed to me, honest! I only teach 14 students & 5 were in the play, who wrote the comments.

So that was why they wanted me to come along. I was so touched. I have never had an accolade like this in 20 years of teaching. Sure a few thank you cards, & certainly good reports every time an OFSTED inspector entered my classroom. I went easily through all the threshold assessments in teaching before I left (which means I'm probably too expensive to get a job in the UK when I return, should I want one); but this was compeletely unprompted, out of the blue & ovewhelming. In the interval people kept coming up to me & saying, 'Well done' & 'Wow you should frame that.' etc.

I think the problem is, I am my own worst enemy. I have always discounted teaching because of the, 'If you can you do, if you can't, you teach' aphorism, which irritates me intensely but nevetheless niggles away at me. So I have never valued myself as a teacher. I'm a teacher, so what, I think? I have always felt I needed to prove myself at something else professionally, to somehow validate the teaching choice - (i.e. "I could do something else, but I chose not to.")

But this, more than any OFSTED inspectors, for some reason, finally jolted me into accepting that I am a good teacher & that I should be proud. I think because it came from the students themselves. Ok, so my humour is appealing to teenagers & they regard my 'dry wit' as sarcasm, but not even that can take away from the fact that I am just chuffed to bits. I'm going to drop the old British reserve & give a little toot on my trumpet, saying I am a teacher, I'm darn good at it & I'm not going to apologise for it.

As for blogging; well I need to accept I'm just an amateur, dabbling in a hobby, who is, like my own students, trying to learn & improve as she goes along. So please bear with me.


Anonymous said...

High praise indeed! Well done, enjoy the well deserved warm glow.

Potty Mummy said...

I love this post. You are a great blogger, just do it the way you want to and forget about any other measures. And clearly, you are also a great teacher - what a brilliant accolade!

Expat mum said...

I love the insights I get from your posts.
And this is praise indeed. Bloggy accolades pale in comparison.

nappy valley girl said...

That is lovely. Well done! It's so difficult to be a good teacher that all the kids love and will remember, so you've achieved something really worthwhile.

As for blogging stats - don't stress about it! You have loyal readers who enjoy your blog. All the rest is fairly meaningless in the end.....

Iota said...

Blimey, an accolade from teens is an accolade indeed!

I think you do just fine. Everyone has their own reasons for blogging. Like jogging, perhaps. Some are doing it to keep fit, some are doing it as a preparation for a marathon, some are doing it because they like showing off their body at the gym. It doesn't really matter about other people - so long as it's doing something for you.

Charlie said...

I have LOVED reading your blogs and will miss them if you stop when u return to Blighty. Best to do a few tho when you first arrive back in Britain, first impressions on moving back etc. Fab encouragement from your students, lovely , and yes frame it !!

big sis said...

Well done fab sister. I never had any doubts that you werent anything other than a fantastic teacher, now you have proof!!

Elsie Button said...

what an amazing thing - to be a brilliant teacher really is quite something - fabulous!!

i know what you mean about the good old mummy blogging days - it is all so so different now - a little bit daunting...

Eclipse said...

That's so cool :) well done & good luck with the move!

Tawny said...

That is fabulous, I know when I get a thank you card from a Guide it overwhelms me. And keep blogging just as you do, I may not comment but I do read :)