Well I was outed last night, and yes, it was by a maths teacher. I can now confirm, with my statistically valid sample of 1, that you are indeed all maths teachers. Apart from Ollie, that is. So it was time to ‘fess up and my OH doesn’t appear too horrified by my ramblings. The interval between Appendix 3.1 and 3.2 seems an appropriate time for a bit of self-indulgent discourse on anonymity and such things.
My main reason for using a pseudonym was less about myself than a statement that I don’t want the boys too embarrassed by my mutterings. However, there is also a part of me that preferred to speak to an audience I don’t know than to one I do, at least until I felt comfortable with the forum. I’m sure that many people will recognise the feeling that it is often much easier to speak to a conference audience of 300 from a rostrum with the lights dimmed than it is to speak to a dozen of your peers in a small room. On the occasions when the boys have talks to do at school, we always try to encourage them to practice at home for this very reason. If they can do their talk to us, it is going to be much easier to present it in class. Whether or not they take this advice is, of course, another matter!
Anyhow my confidence is growing and I am finding that I am really enjoying being able to write something that doesn’t begin “the shallow water laminarian forests in the sheltered parts of the loch are dominated by…”. It is a long time since I have had this opportunity. Emails may have killed off letter writing but maybe blogging can fill that gap.
So, English teachers, where are you?? Why are you letting the maths departments get so far ahead? How about an online class novel with scribes writing different sections (so long as you can persuade them to write and not to text). You could keep a class diary. Stories from an on-line news item or “in the style of”. There must be huge scope for personal writing to the semi-impersonal audience of the computer screen.