Sunday, 8 February 2015


I've spent the afternoon with reading journals and WBW reflections (I wrote a post about our Way Back Wednesday programme that you can read here). It's been both inspiring and frustrating:  the usual highs and lows of getting to know the capabilities of a new class.  Now though, 'tis time to turn my mind to something else: the #28daysofwriting challenge.

It's a simple concept: writing for 28 minutes for 28 days.  The brainchild of Tom Barrett @tombarrett and explained succinctly on his blog The Curious Creative it forces encourages participants to just do it. To just sit down and write for 28 minutes. Too easy... I've had longer showers! (OK, not really. Well. Just the once. Shhhh.)

28 minutes is actually a long time if you're not in the habit of writing. Or if, like me, you're not in the habit of single tasking. And so, for me the benefit has been twofold: I'm writing again and I'm retraining myself to focus on one thing at a time.  Both are incredibly welcome gifts.

Let's start with the writing. I mentioned my students' WBW reflections earlier. It's a fascinating process that grew so much bigger than when I wrote that initial blog post. The students loved it as ferociously as I do - often finding it confronting and occasionally a little overwhelming. I've asked many times why this is, and the answer is always the same: the chance to talk openly, think and then reflect on their learning. And for me, that's what this blog is about (minus the talking, although there's plenty of that going on in my head): thinking and reflecting. I feel better about my teaching... My learning... My life really, when I write.

And the focus thing? Ha! My husband likes to joke that he can dangle something shiny in my peripheral vision and I'll turn to it. I do! We all do - especially teachers:  we are masters of splitting our attention in 25 different directions.  I do see the value in focus though and can harness it well when working with children. I'm just not very good at doing it for myself yet. This challenge is helping me get there.

The teacher in my is giving me a 2 minute warning. The writer in my is fretting that I've left myself with no time to revise or proofread. The multitasker in me is ready to move on. So it's a good thing time is nearly up. I'm challenged by this challenge and that's a good thing. Thanks +Tom Barrett

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