On being a geek.

I was at the Innovate My School thank you dinner the other night. It was a fantastic night, filled with laughter, great food, and fantastic company. Michael Forshaw, IMS’s founder and director, talked about the history and future of the company, and told us that he wants to make the banquet an annual event and include an awards ceremony. He had picked out a few awards for this year, and I was declared ‘biggest geek’.

Some people find the term geek offensive. Me? I embrace it. It’s fairly obvious, really, given the title of this site (and my Twitter handle). I’ve spent the last couple of days considering what it is that makes me embrace being such a geek.

A few years ago, I pinned this:

Image via patheos.com

I am a total geek about teaching and learning. Sometimes the two are completely integrated, but the learning aspect covers so much more than what happens at school. I am a voracious reader of all things school-related. Some I love, and go back to time and again. Some I pin to go back to later – I use one Pinterest account as a kind of personal library. Some I share with colleagues, and some I disagree with but like that it has given me food for thought. I read blogs, research, media – you name it. I unintentionally name drop in meetings because to me it’s all part and parcel of who I am as a teacher. Keeping up with research and ideas is crucial to my success in the classroom, and I forget that not everybody sees it that way.

Learning for me is one of the most important things I do. A lot of the focus is, as I said, on schools and the work we do there. Keeping up with technology is part of that as well. So much of my learning, however, is completely personal. It’s not always reading fiction, as I rarely have the time during term time to indulge, but I read an enormous array of articles on many varied topics. I remember spending half an hour or so reading about cold press coffee and the business models behind certain companies – and I don’t actually like coffee! I read a lot of politics and history, both UK and international.

In short, I hate not knowing things, so I seek out information. I get excited by learning new things. I always hope that I can instil that love of learning in my students. It’s hard, sometimes, when you’re constrained by a very full curriculum, but it is possible. When I’m excited about learning, it spreads to my students in an almost visible manner.

I’m a geek, and I’m proud of it.


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