Why the 50-20 Blog?

Blog Post created by mr_h_teacher on May 5, 2016

NOTE: Originally posted on Blogger on August 5, 2015


In my first post "The Tyranny of Choice" I talked about my struggle to find the perfect title, or URL, for my education blog.  I have tinkered with many - only to create a long and unnecessary delay in my efforts.


I guess I spent much of my thought on my audience.   After all, it is an important lesson I teach to my students when they write. Should I be writing a blog that has a title that will attract other educators? colleagues? parents? students?   How can I welcome anyone on this personal and professional journey?


How clever should my title be?  I once named a Fantasy Baseball team the "Hurley Buehrles" - my punny-play on the last name of a Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher. I was chuffed by my wittiness until it became increasingly clear that the team I had selected did not deserve a clever moniker. I realized again, it's not the name, it’s the content that matters.


This summer, as I embarked, again, on my quest to create an active blog, my struggles began anew. However, this time, the mental gymnastics were short and an ideal name revealed itself to me quite quickly.  I'd love to say that, like Chris Cornell's "Audioslave", it came to me in a “shaman-like vision”, but that would be embellishing the mundane.  I thought of it while walking to school one morning.


This summer, I turned 50 and 2005 also marks my 20th year as an educator. (I am counting my year of Teacher’s College).  The 50/20 Blog was born. To use a golf analogy, I am (without a doubt) on the “back 9” of this beautiful and challenging course - and I want to finish strong.  This blog can serve to mark this occasion and also act as a scorecard for my journey. 


Like most veteran educators, I would not dare suggest I scored below par on the first nine.  I think I shot well... I certainly learned from my mistakes and managed to pull myself out of a number of hazards.  By its very nature, this is a profession that propels us forward and makes us adapt and change to the landscape.  You can’t reflect on mistakes and missteps.  You can’t fret over missed opportunities and there are no mulligans. You simply must move forward. As Stephen Stills once wrote…


“Don’t let the past remind you of what you are not now.”




So, I move forward to the next tee, eager to begin another year.  I am now overwhelmed with the task of finding the best way to get everything in motion with my new class - Edmodo, The Global Read Aloud, Dot Day, Tween Tribune, Class Dojo, Thrively, Edmettle, Kidblogs, NoRedInk, Hank Zipzer and more.  There is a Federal election in October and that is a teaching opportunity that can't be missed. There will be successes and casualties on the way.  I have changed grades and I am embarking on a curriculum I haven’t looked at in some time. I also have to navigate a new Ontario Health curriculum that attracts both proponents & detractors - but - a lot more people like me, who are not sure how to feel about it yet. I think I'll write about that next.


Regardless, the 50/20 begins.  I welcome anyone to join me on this leg of the journey.