I will be posting this on my own blog and on staffrm.Â It will be my last piece on there as sadly I have learned that it is to close.
For those of you who do not know about staffrm, it is a blogging platform for Teachers.Â When it started it was invitation only, something that went viral quickly.Â From there the membership snowballed and so did the number of articles being written.
When @Bekblayton suggested that I joined I was reticent, as I wondered who on earth would ne interested in my nonsensical ramblings.Â At the time I wasn't in the best place.Â I was jaded, carrying a persistent chest infection and fearing it was something worse.Â I was exhausted and generally carrying the world on my back.
When I started writing, it was for me.Â It was my catharsis and my therapy.Â I didn't expect anyone to read it.Â Something that I still try to do today.Â Obviously it is nice if people do read and enjoy my words, but the reason I write remains the same. Â
Staffrm was the perfect platform for me. A limit of 500 words meant there was no expectation of grandiose tomes of high brow theory.Â Their idea was simple.Â It doesn't matter what you write about, just write.Â Hand in hand with this was a superbly supportive and non judgemental audience. Â People read, they were supportive and they commented if appropriate.Â
There was no competition, no ranking system. Â
Peps McCrea and team set challenges such as the 29 days of writing, challenging members to write each and every day for the duration of February (It was a leap year).Â Those of us who managed to complete the task were rewarded with a mug, documenting our efforts. Â
Staffrm was a victim of its own success in many ways.Â Those of us who first discovered our voices through Staffrm slowly moved away one by one to set up blogs of our own.Â Having shown us the way, the training wheels came off, allowing us to go our own way.
That then creates the problem... Â
Those of us with our own blogs, didn't tend to post on Staffrm an more.Â I am guilty in looking for the first time today in a long time.Â Imagine my feelings of guilt when I saw that despite attempts to keep the platform running it was no longer financially viable and is scheduled for closure.
Without staffrm I would not have had the courage to write in a public forum, whether as a blog or articles for publications. Â I also tend to keep to the 500 word(ish) mark which is a hang over from their platform.
What a shame it is that new voices may be robbed from having their chance to be heard.Â Maybe something will come along in its place, or maybe someone like the TES will come in and assimilate it?Â I hope there is someone who can make this happen.
For now I'll Just say.