The benefits of blogging

“We’ll do it all
Everything
On our own”

No one is more amazed than me that I’ve reached my two year blogiversary. So, after spending some significant time trying to decide whether it should be ‘me’ that is amazed, or ‘I’, my thoughts eventually moved along to reflecting on what I have gained from a considerable investment of my time over the last two years. And not just what I have gained, but whether there has been impact or outcomes on anyone else?

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I selfishly started blogging for my own wellbeing. My original thinking was that writing down frustrations and challenges at work would help me in the ‘deal-with-it’ process.

Along the way I’ve accepted that my life isn’t just about work and I’ve included family, fluff and Brexit (a constant frustration for me) as well as a couple of adventurous forays into writing fiction.

I’m in no doubt – it’s been fun, but the SBM in me wants specific outcomes, so here is what I believe has been gained;

  1. Writing improves my wellbeing. It’s not just the process of actually writing that I find supportive, but also the time spent deep in thought about topics and sentence construction.  My ideas often stem from a lyric, a quote or an opening phrase that leads onto the rest of the blog. My best ideas can be often be found when I’m in the middle of fields with muddy happy dogs.
  2. Personally, I’ve taken control. Looking back over my life I’ve spent quite a lot of it waiting for someone else to organise me, make me fulfilled, make me happy. Blog writing coincided with the year of  a ‘big’ birthday which came with a lot of “what now?” baggage as I was conscious that I was entering a new phase of my life.
  3. Professionally, I’ve taken control. It’s taken me a while to realise that only I can shape my career. Only I can decide where I want to go and how I’m going to get there. I’m much more assertive now. Not only in what I want for myself, but also what I want for my team, my school and my Trust.
  4. My collaborative mindset has grown. I find I’m much more willing to give my time and energy to support others, as well as actively seek out ways to work collaboratively. There are still challenges (I know not everyone wants to work with me!) but I have a better attitude towards making myself available to supporting others.
  5. I’ve found many new friends. Never was this more obvious than at the ISBL conference this year, finally getting to meet like-minded SBMs from all over the country. #SBLTwitter is a constant source of support, information and friendship. How did I ever manage without it?

All of the above, I now realise, was succinctly communicated to my SLT as a final comment on a school staff questionnaire towards the end of this year. (This promoted some really positive debate at the analysis meeting and I did finally have to admit it was me!)

My working practice, job satisfaction and well-being has improved dramatically over the last two years since I have taken control of my own career pathway and looked outside of my immediate area to link with other colleagues for support, best practice and collaboration. I can clearly now see from talking to others that not only am I and my role valued here but I am supported in and able to make decisions for my own practice, and whole school, improvement. Perhaps we could find a way of training staff to help them find their own learning journey?

So I want to say Thank You for being with me on this journey and for your immense support, encouragement and comments, giving me the confidence to continue with this blog.  I look forward to more exciting developments in year three and I hope you will choose to let me walk alongside you through the coming year.

Wishing you a very happy New Year 2019.

Emma x

 

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