Resuming a journey

One year can pass very quickly! 

On my return I thought it might be worthwhile  repeating what I said a few years ago about the purpose and benefits of keeping a Learning Log.

A “Learning Log” can be captured in a relatively simple tri-colon:

“Where you’ve been; where you are; and where you’re going”.

I’m not talking here of travel in any sort of geographical sense, but more about the journey which relates to opinions, ideas and perceptions.

A Learning Log imposes a discipline upon the reflective process, which, although it may be going on informally, or tacitly, all of the time, can often be lost in the ‘clutter’ which forms much of our daily, weekly and monthly work.

The Learning Log gives me that brief – and ever more valuable, opportunity to step outside and look back upon my practice and direction of travel.

The reflective power of the on-line Learning Log is magnified when the contribution of others’ comments is taken into consideration. The Learning Log therefore provides an invaluable strategic map, in that enables me to retrace my steps and see where I’ve come from, identify where I am at any one point in time and, hopefully, enables me to explore the future in a relatively safe environment.

The other, incredibly useful role for the Learning Log is that it enables me to see connections between various things that I’m doing that might not be apparent if they were contained within their normal silos.  For me it’s this connecting function that helps me to make sense of some the very disparate things that I do in my day-to-day work.

If this seems focused upon the personal benefits of keeping a learning log then that has been deliberate – the benefit of a Learning Log to other people is very much dependent upon the reader’s perception – whilst at the same time modelling the kind of transparency which I believe should be characteristic of modern public service systems.

11 thoughts on “Resuming a journey

  1. Hurrah! Welcome back!
    I look forward to reading your thoughts and reflections once more. I have missed them.

  2. As a class teacher I used to follow your learning journey. It was inspiring that someone who can perceive as a “have made it” strives to grapple and make sense of educational issues and reflects on the how, where, what and why’s.
    Missed it.
    Glad you have resumed this role.

  3. You wait an age and then three come along at once. Wonderful to have your posts, and your, voice in my [virtual] ear again.

  4. Don, As an East Lothian HT, I’m also delighted that you’ve returned to sharing your thinking on the journey with us all. It’s a brave thing to do, given the very public facing job you have. I wonder if there’s a way to do this as a headteacher when there’s so much of the ht’s reflective thinking comes from people, events and incidents. Seems a bit like walking a tightrope but I guess you know that well and perhaps that’s why you jumped off for a while. Thank you for jumping back on.

  5. In communicating with others we make sense of our own situations and find our own ways forward. Working in the maelstrom of a small primary school at such a time of change your blog and its wider contributions has helped me. So I am very glad you are back.

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