All teachers have a duty to share their practice, says Scottish education’s self-proclaimed “video guy” in the latest edition of the Tes Scotland podcast.
Blair Minchin is a primary teacher in Edinburgh and is one of the few Scottish teachers to become a regular vlogger, sharing what goes on in his classroom – from making silent movies to using circus skills to explain data and many inspirational ideas in between.
In the latest edition of the Tes Scotland podcast, he stresses that not having any children frees him up to share his own ideas – but he also believes that teachers, in general, should be generous with the resources they create, for the good of the whole education community.
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He says: “As teachers, it’s not just about you. It’s not just about you being the best teacher, about you having the best school, or the best class, it’s about the whole community working together and I think that there are some great ideas out there that need to be shared more.
“I could do with learning in a lot of areas and I am sure there are great teachers out there doing great things, so if they were willing to share theirs a bit more freely I would much appreciate it.
“So from that standpoint, I feel like I have a duty to share as well and if people like it great, and if they don’t I put it out there anyway.”
However, Mr Minchin also confesses he is “an over-sharer” and “a geek” and says nobody should feel obliged to share as much as he does. It is only by dint of his age and stage and family circumstances that he is free – for the time being – to do so, he says.
He says: “I know that my time as this kind of ‘Scottish video guy’ is finite, it will end at some point, and someone else will come along and do something new...So whilst I’ve got the opportunity I always feel – and this will annoy some people, but I’ll just say it. Personally, I feel if you have got the time we have got a duty as teachers to share our practice and to share what we are doing.
“I don’t think anybody should be doing it as much as me. I’m a geek, you don’t need to be doing it that much, but I think, if we think we are doing something right, we should be putting that out into the community.”
Mr Minchin also talks about his experience of returning to the classroom during a global pandemic, what makes for a good vlog, and why those who extol zero-tolerance approaches to behaviour management are guaranteed to wind him up.
To subscribe to the Tes Scotland podcast and listen to previous episodes, click here