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27 Sep 2017

Guest Post: The skills that blogging has given me

The skills that blogging has given me, that have helped me in my career.

Hi, I'm Tori from Tori's World - a lifestyle blogger and a teacher. With the plethora of educational blogs out there, I've often wondered why I chose not to go down that route and instead to write a lifestyle blog but now into my third year of blogging, I can see how lifestyle blogging has given me skills and confidence beyond that I could imagine when I began.

A little personal history first - I've read blogs for a long long time - almost since they first started appearing. I've also always loved writing and knew that this could be an outlet for me. Career-wise - teaching is all I've ever wanted to do. Every academic choice I made was geared towards being in front of the classroom one day. And I believe (as do those who assess us...) that I'm a blooming good teacher! I love the job and the differences, challenges and successes each day brings. After teaching for nearly 15 years, it’s more and more important to keep moving with the times and developing my skills. The world is changing rapidly…

So how has blogging helped me?

Teaching can be all-consuming. There's no definitive cut-off, “you've finished” point. You can (and many do) work all the hours of the day, neglecting personal life, hobbies and your health. I quickly decided that I would need a hobby to help me switch off and by combining my love of makeup and writing, I started my blog with a beauty focus in May 2015. I quickly realised that limiting myself to makeup wasn’t going to work for me and moved into a lifestyle blog after Blogmas 2015. When I’m writing or interacting with the community, I’m doing something just for me.

Increased self-confidence – by writing about my experiences and more importantly my opinions, I am forcing myself to put myself out there in a way I never have before. Engaging with the community and chatting with other bloggers has also given me the confidence to tackle off-line relationships (professional and otherwise) with an increased self-confidence.

Using blogging in the classroom – although I don’t advertise the fact that I write a blog at school, I have introduced a classroom blog that the children and their parents can access. Writing for a real purpose is the best way to motivate all children to write and without blogging, I would have a lot less opportunities to do that.

Editing skills – editing is a big part of the National Curriculum for writing in England now and I can visibly demonstrate editing skills by proofreading, re-writing and attempting to add more interest for the audience whilst I am blogging which gives me an insight into the process to help me teach it.

Computing – although I could use many different computer programs, I was not a computing expert and the demands of the National Curriculum were beyond my limited knowledge. Blogging…and more specifically the coding element of blogging has made sense of algorithms, code, debugging…all skills that primary school children are required to know.

Children’s idols these days are the likes of Zoella and one of the main career paths they want to take is as a YouTuber. The world has changed since I was at school but being part of the blogging community makes me well-placed to give advice, develop skills and, of course, be down with the kids…!

By having to learn new skills myself through blogging, I can see the importance of constantly challenging yourself to improve. To evaluate what you’ve done, celebrate the successes and learn from the mistakes is so important in all jobs and particularly in teaching. Blogging has taught me so much about learning from my mistakes and the value of learning new skills – which has helped me to teach children to have a growth mindset and learn through their mistakes.

It’s been a pleasure to work with Natalie-Claire and I hope that anyone who’s wondering whether to start a blog will be able to see the advantages it can offer through many areas of their lives.

Special Thanks to Tori, for her guest post. I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like to be a guest writer or be featured on my blog, just Contact ME.

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