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Blogging your probation year

Lesley Kettles invited you into the mysterious world of blogging...

Business Education Teacher, St Modan's High School, Stirling

The term "blogging" sounds rather dodgy doesn't it? At least that's what I thought when I first heard my computing tutor at Jordanhill try to sell it to us in class.

To avoid the embarrassment of sticking my hand up to ask for an explanation on what on earth blogging was, I nodded with the rest of the class and agreed that it would be of great benefit for a student teacher to start at blog.

Somewhere in his speech about the benefits of blogging (that to be honest went straight over my head) I heard the words "chocolate" and "reward". Occasionally, in my computing class, the tutor gave out chocolate as an incentive for completing extra curricular tasks.

I decided that this whole "blogging" thing was a great opportunity to win a bar of chocolate. Little did I know how useful blogging actually turned out to be.

Blogging explained

For those of you still not "down" with the computing lingo, a blog is basically an electronic diary where people can reply to the posts that you make.

You could have a blog about absolutely anything you want, such as writing about a day in the life of a carrot, what you had for dinner last night or, like my blog, record your thoughts and experiences about teaching.

Entries in a blog can be as long as you want. Mine are short and to the point as I don't want to bore those who read it. However, if you want to write a novel then you may do so.

I started my blog at the start of my first student placement. Naturally, I was apprehensive about being in the classroom for the first time and writing in my blog was method of relaying these thoughts and feelings - "letting them all out".

As the weeks went on, I really started to notice the benefit of having a blog as I began to experience difficulty with my teaching and needed a way of expressing this.

Constructive comments

When I started to get comments from other teachers and students they made me realise that the difficulties and fears that I was experiencing were not isolated experiences.

They allowed me to put things into perspective and some of the comments offered practical advice on how to deal with various situations. This has been of great benefit to me.

Over the past year, I have had numerous constructive comments from experienced teachers all over the world. This has helped me to become a "reflective practitioner", which we all know is a requirement under GTC Scotland Standards for Full Registration whereby "Registered teachers reflect on and act to improve their own professional practice".

I have also had a marriage proposal from India!

I would thoroughly recommend keeping a blog throughout your student teacher year and beyond, as the rewards are great.

It is easy to set up as there are numerous blogging websites that help you do it. If you are interested in seeing what a blog looks like visit my blog:

For a more experienced teacher's perspective visit: