I was asked to provide a prenote to our first Staffrm digimeet, and what an excellent time to have it! I was honoured to create the first post back in June 2014, and have watched it grow slowly, be revamped and opened to all in January, go crazy during #28daysofwriting, then relax back down. At heart of Staffrm are seven key principles, which I'm using the analogy of sins to explain. Here goes...
We prefer to be radiators rather than drains here. There's plenty to get angry about in teaching, but we don't fill posts with frustrated bile, more ideas on what we are trying to do in our classrooms to make things even 1% better.
We want to improve. We're greedy about improving and sharing our pedagogy. You are welcome to lurk in Staffrm, but if you're too nervous to make your first post, join in some conversations in the comments instead. We try as writers to reply to comments!
The writing isn't perfect (although Helena and Jill come pretty close). There are sometimes rogue commas and typos, but our thoughts aren't lazy, only our typing skills. In fact, the funniest post (where the author may have imbibed a little) for this has been locked for posterity. After all, which other profession publicly reflects on their passion after a skinful and a kebab?
We love our jobs. This is no alternative venue for Secret Teacher type rants. Sure we get frustrated, have bad days, difficult classes, but at heart we take pride in our classrooms, students, our achievements. If anything comes across as showy-offy, it is almost never intended, unless David Rogers is involved ;-).
We share the events in our teaching (and personal) life as we find it cathartic to share, and also that someone else might get something from it. This is in no way a 'I'm better than you' approach; in fact, lots of the things we share are works in progress. We don't get everything right. We waste time, we make resources which fail, we experiment with lessons that crash spectacularly.
Okay, I'm stretching the analogy to its limits here, but we really do like to pig out with help, and not just with the Pig of Happiness. Staffrm members don't promote themselves, but instead try to contribute to other people's ideas via comments, recommendations or retweets.
Join in, with whatever level of participation you feel most comfortable with - Staffrm is built around our needs and thoughts as teachers. Enjoy the talks of tonight's #digimeet, knowing that they aren't puff pieces by consultants hawking their wares, but by teachers, telling you what's going on in their classrooms every day.
Oh, and please put your mugs in the dishwasher at the end of break.