As this is my inaugural review of the week’s blogs I am going to focus on new voices. We held our 4th #WomenEd Unconference this weekend and challenged our community to be #10%braver. We already have several who have risen to the challenge, and I would like to do shout outs for their first blogs!
Inspired to write her first blog, following her first workshop facilitation, Jess reflects on the power of networking and the friendships she has made in the community since she was invited to a #WomenEd event in January.
Jess considers what it is like to be a headteacher in the spotlight, and poses questions about how our headteachers are looked after by the media. She goes on to reflect on how she shared her personal and professional journey with those who attended her workshop: “The stumbling blocks, the emotional turmoil and the need to adjust my personal life to ensure I was happy at work and home.”
Jess is a great example of a middle leader who is finding her feet on the school career ladder, and who is now determined to find her voice in the education blogging world.
In Lena’s most recent blog, she shares her thoughts on her first #womened unconference, with her daughter in tow. She is a much-loved presence on Twitter, and we often forget that she is tucked away in Scotland and not in the room as she contributes so much to our Twitter educhats.
Lena captures the emotions of being at an event and meeting people in real life for the first time. Weaving together each voice, each session, she reflects on the power of these connections and the possibilities of these collaborations: “The power of us working together to change the world.” Her provocation to the naysayers is profound and powerful in its simplicity: “How and why do we collaborate in a time of ambiguity? Because we need to make sure that the world works for everyone.”
In Dr Deb’s first blog on her personal site (rather than for academic circles), she contributes to the creation of “a counter narrative to the doom and gloom in education”.
She reflects on the need for grassroots movements, in this case for #WomenEd to “go beyond Twitter … because the army of educators who are too busy to engage in Twitter, or too fearful (understandably enough in our current culture), are missing out on something that is powerful and helpful in restoring the positive picture to education that is so often not discussed…”.
Her blog is a call to arms to get involved, to participate, to be the change our school system needs. She reminds us that everything we do as educators should be about creating a “better education system for all children” but that we can also improve conditions for our teachers too.
Reflecting on her leadership of oracy through her passion for literacy, Bec weaves her first blog together as an act of self-actualisation. She focuses on enabling others to “fluently express themselves” in the process of finding her own voice.
Using Simon Sinek’s Start With Why model, she deconstructs oracy into the Why, the How and What of classroom dialogue.
Bec shares her research, professional learning and whole-school strategy for oracy teaching. I wholeheartedly agree with her when she says that:
“Oracy is a culture-based programme
- A community is defined by the way that it communicates
- At the heart of real collaboration is real communication
- No voice can be lost in a community that truly makes EVERY PERSON MATTER”.
Naomi reflects on the impact of Powerful Conversations. The blog deconstructs a number of “assumptions” and counters each with a “truth”. The microlearning opportunities punctuate her reflections as she encourages women in education to take advantage of the Teaching Schools Council’s Women Leading In Education coaching pledge.