Every Sunday morning, with a latte in hand, I read through an array of education blog posts. These are posts which, during the week, I favourite on twitter using my phone as I'm on the go or when I don't have the time to read them. Then on Sundays I scour my favourites to ensure I've read the ones I wanted to (and then unfavourite them when I have!). It's a relaxing start to the day but it also serves two other purposes. Firstly, I feel it helps me keep up-to-date with what's going on in education in the UK. I know I don't need to do this, in fact there are many teachers who don't, but I want to have some idea as to what's going on around the country in other classrooms and above my head, among school leaders and politicians. Secondly, it's a great way to start off a day which is mostly dedicated to planning and assessing and often posts inspire me to do this better and in a different way.
But (and there was always going to be a "but") in the last few weeks these posts have mostly taken on a different tone. This morning, as I clicked on link after link through Twitter and other posts, I found myself feeling more and more down about how teachers are feeling in the profession. I read about enormous workloads, draining accountability, problems with change, the pressures of PRP - in fact the pressures from many areas of teaching: OfSTED, observations, school leaders, etc. It seemed, from my collated blog posts, that there are many in the profession who are unhappy. My morning of reading, meant to kick-start my teaching week, left me utterly uninspired to do any work.
The teaching/blogging/tweeting community started off 2014 with #Nurture1314 posts. These showed the power of positivity within an ever-changing profession. People were forced to look back at the positives of the previous 12 months. Not the positives of the government or OfsTED but of the teachers and children in the classrooms - the front line. The teaching/blogging/tweeting community sounded happy. What has changed?
Is it the Amazon Review syndrome? I.E. people only blog about things when they've got something to negative to say? Or is it that there really aren't that many of us left still enjoying the job? Is it that there are so few teachers who can still be happy in the job through the crazy changes we are experiencing? Or is it that I'm just not following the right people? Or that the positive posts aren't making their way into my news feed?
I know I'm a fine one to talk, with my previous post being an ode against the mention of the 3 Michaels from education speakers but I know that I'm a happy teacher and I hope the posts on this blog reflect this. I am a happy teacher, even though I am sure that the "powers of be" are not doing right by the young people of the UK. I am a happy teacher, even though the pressure is crazy, the workload is ridiculous and the rate of change is insane. I am a happy teacher because, for me, it's all about the kids.
So my question is: Where have all the happy teachers gone? I want to follow them, tweet them, read their blog posts and be inspired by them.