Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Edducan blah blah blah. Yes, it’s true – one year ago today I set up my blog in the hope that it would reach a small but indifferent audience and I’m delighted to report that in that goal I have succeeded beyond my wildest imaginings. Never could I dare to dream that my audience would be so small and so disinterested but it just goes to show that good things can happen if you apply yourself.
I jest. Partially. Starting the blog has engaged and connected me with the world of education in a way that I hadn’t thought possible. Yes, most of the serious educationalists continue to sideswipe me as they plough ever onwards with their search for the mathematically perfect pedagogical method, arguing ceaselessly against traditionalism or for it or for something like it. The TES won’t respond to me and my clarion calls for better careers provision and neither will many of the broadsheets who largely ignored the million strong national careers week movement. But I care not a jot, beyond slightly smarted feelings for this year has been a success in exciting and improbable ways that even the snooty so and sos of Fleet Street can’t undo.
Firstly of course was the release of my book, that is, in spite of the obstacles placed in front of it by my not being a ‘turn’ or being promoted by a huge publishing house, slowly but surely creeping its way in to the likes of Waterstones (one shop at a time) and I like to think the hearts of those who read it (if the Amazon reviews are to be believed and I choose to.)
Secondly, was the opportunity to write articles for so many different magazines, websites and papers which has been a huge thrill and a great opportunity to try and explain what and why I started the blog, wrote the book and most importantly why I continue to bang the drum for better careers provision. Which got a welcome shot in the arm with the introduction of the DfE’s new Careers Strategy – no doubt in no small part because of my blog (ahem). Either way the fact that’s it’s crept up the docket is an exciting and important part of the process of bringing about change.
I’ve started a debating society at a school which has opened my eyes to the dazzling array of benefits that even simply oracy skills can assist with and it’s been immensely gratifying to watch these young people grow in confidence as they learn to speak up and have confidence in the arguments they espouse and the opinions they hold.
I’ve done radio interviews where I’ve sought to champion the importance of careers learning and I nearly got to go on the television (but that’s for another day) and all of it has been set in motion by kicking off the blog to try and get people to listen. We’ve still many, MANY miles to go and I still suffer the ignominy of having to even be one half of a conversation that ends with ‘we’re not currently reviewing our careers strategy’ despite the new LEGAL requirement that they do so. But you can’t make that horse drink, you can however report it to Ofsted. So for any parents reading this who think that their school isn’t taking their statutory requirements seriously get on the blower and shop them, don’t jeopardise your child’s welfare simply to avoid making a fuss, this is too important to be ignored and if they won’t listen to the government maybe they’ll pay attention to you guys. Good luck, thanks for reading and here’s to the next year…