Nearly Three and Look at Me: Little Ol’ Litdrive

Well, what a tidy little trip we have been on.

Almost three years ago, I took on the role of Literacy Coordinator and found myself looking around despairingly at the lack of information specifically aimed to support such a role. Hindsight in tact, and particularly after reading David Didau and Geoff Barton, who in their own way argue that literacy can never truly exist as a separate entity from a curriculum or culture, that may have been why I looked at the role with some perplexing thought, but that is a post for another time.

I combatted my confusion by setting up #litdrive, a little shared set of resources that was simply my ideas and action plan for others to view and critique. Before I knew it, people wanted to become involved, offering their own resources at both primary and and secondary level. I think the message or aim of Litdrive has been confused over time, but that may be because of the lack of ‘brief’ as such; I just wanted a space for people to share stuff, magpie or adapt other resources and see what other schools were approaching the huge changes within KS3, 4 and 5 (thanks, Govey). #KS3LTP was an amazing spin off from Litdrive, with several English departments sharing their new long term plans and collaboratively reaching solutions for the rigour of a new specification.

And here we are. A lot has changed in those three years; I no longer coordinate Literacy, I’ve left the school (and returned- another blog!), I type blog posts with a dead right arm and a sleeping baby on top. It appears that Litdrive is trying to keep up- we are now at over 500 contributors, and I have a terrifying 60 requests sat in my inbox.

I want grand things for Litdrive. I know that other subjects look on at movements like #TeamEnglish a little enviously; I’m incredibly lucky to teach a topic that has such a strong online network and support system. But there is room for #litdrive to branch out just a little I believe. And as long as both myself and my dead arm can keep up, here’s the plan:

  • Litdrive now has its own twitter handle- @litdriveuk. This is my desperate attempt to remain organised with requests, uploads and share success stories or particular resources that are in keeping with the seasons (hi there, exam month, waving at us on the calendar).
  • I’ve also set up litdriveuk@hotmail.com, because I have no idea how I thought I could deal with loads of stuff being sent in my direction and not lose all my Amazon/BabyGap/Boden/Waterstones/Habitat/Frustrated Builder emails along the way.
  • I would like to open up Litdrive a little bit to include other sections to support different aspects of school life; for example, there is now a #teacher5aday section, so that people can contribute resources to support wellbeing for teachers either in or outside a school environment. This could be a wellbeing policy in use, or a support system that you use that could benefit others. There is now also a CPD section that again, contributors could add to if they have run a session within school that may be useful to other teachers, or another document such as an article that would be beneficial to those in other schools. This file has come about as a result of being on mat leave and wanting to continue my own ongoing CPD: I know many teachers take ownership of their professional development and the idea would be that there would be a bank of tools to assist you in doing so. If you think that you could contribute to either section, or indeed have a suggestion for an additional section within the drive, please do get in touch.
  • Finally, I’d like the drive to be far more organised for everyone! I’m going to spend some time every week in a concerted effort to do as such.

Litdrive has led me to connect and have discussions with so many people, especially recently and it really does demonstrate the extent of people’s generosity and compassion for others. Without wanting to be sentimental, the last two weeks have been a little overwhelming on the Litdrive front (positively speaking, of course) and it just becomes a steady reminder of how many brilliant teachers there are out there. So, thanks and all that!

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