I’ve long been an admirer of how Doug Belshaw presents his work. I particularly like his Weeknotes series. When I was on the MAODE I had a couple of tries at trying to publish a weekly diary sort of thing, but the coursework always seemed to get in the way. I think it’s time to have another go.
I’ve rather shamelessly copied the format of Doug’s Weeknotes. Initially I had a simple list of bullet-points covering the things that I’d been doing during the week and which I thought or hoped might be of interest to others; but it didn’t work. And it actually didn’t work on a couple of levels;
- It looked crap
- It was boring
- I was getting nothing out of it
Back to the drawing board!
What’s really powerful about Belshaw’s format is the use of positive verbs that have a strong social connotation. This isn’t done for aesthetic or presentation reasons. Here’s how I think it functions.
This is what I originally had
- On Monday I attended a meeting of …
This makes it seem like the most important piece of information is that I attended a meeting. The focus, in other words, is on me and my attendance. However, if that same information is rearranged with a strong, social verb at the start of the section, it can look and read like this:
This week I’ve been:
- Meeting with colleagues from…
I don’t know what’s grammatically or linguistically happened but now the focus is on meeting with other people. I also no longer seem to be at the centre of the event. The same information no longer simply communicates what I was doing on Monday night but also communicates what the point of doing it was.
And taking that thought a bit further. What that means (for me) is that in the process of seeking out what the active headword should be, I’m encouraged to reflect on, not only what was important about doing the thing, but, and I think this is perhaps the most important aspect, what the point of doing it next week will be.
In this post, I’ve been
- Working out a way to help me better understand what’s been important about my week’s edu activities; and
- Considering the language that I use in reflective practice so that it doesn’t just help me look back at my week’s activities but feeds into my understanding of what’s important about the activities in the forthcoming week.