It's almost seven years since I took on the persona of "Ranting Teacher". Why did I do it? I'd moved from a wonderful school to one which was more of a struggle: bigger, unwieldier, messier, louder... I couldn't help but compare the two. So many things were frustrating me about that school that I felt I needed to vent my anger and frustrations somehow. Writing it down and putting it "out there" just made me feel better. But it wasn't such a bad school. (In its last two inspections it scored top marks and gold stars.) What was it that frustrated me? The parents? The students? The other teachers? Well, a combination of all of those things, alongside endless government initiatives, curriculum changes, and the constant demands on my time.
So what has changed in seven years? For "Ranting Teacher", it has changed from a slowly-coded html website, to this blogger site, and more lately, to a more frequent presence on Twitter where I've had the opportunity to have instant banter with a great range of great people.
For me as a teacher, I have changed jobs, schools, and lost the anger I felt several years ago. But I don't think this is a good thing. I ranted because I cared about the job and the students, and was frustrated when I couldn't do my job properly because of external pressures or circumstances. That I don't rant so much any more is a bit of a worry to me. Does it mean I'm not so bothered any more? Am I just going through the motions? It feels like it sometimes.
For me as a person, like anyone else I've experienced much change in the last seven years. Bereavements, break-ups, break-downs... In the last year or so my blog has been quiet, and it's because real life has got in the way much of the time. Maybe me and Ranting Teacher have a bit of a seven-year-itch.
But I know the ranting is still in there somewhere... because I still care about educating young people and I'm still passionate about my subject, and there are still so many impediments! The great thing about "tweeting" with other teachers is that I know I am in no way unique, and it's a great way to vent in a short and sweet (and not so sweet) way. Lots of teachers use Twitter to share good practice, ideas and developments instantly with colleagues around the world. I'm far more superficial with my banter but find the support from my Twitter friends immeasurable. So if you don't see me on here much, come and say hello on Twitter!