Thursday, October 04, 2007

Things we didn’t expect to learn

When I started this blog, my main aim was to help the School of St Jude to grow so that more Tanzanian children from the poorest homes could benefit from an excellent education.

Just now, Tanzania is experiencing extreme ‘education-stress’ as an extra 2.5 million children have enrolled in primary schools. Average class sizes have risen from 50-something kids, to 70-something, while the government struggles to find more teachers and build more schools.

At the School of St Jude class sizes are under 30 and thee are dedicated teachers who are supported by ongoing training, and good teaching resources. The results are evident in the excellent results achieved by the kids in national exams.

Blogging has opened up new avenues of interest for me, and that has encouraged me to continue. There is lots of advice out there for bloggers – how to produce good content, how to write well, how to work all the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tricks, linkbait, and so forth.

All of that is OK, but it is underpinned by the motivation that keeps you thinking and writing. I have discovered that a strong motivator for me is the chance to learn new things. I seem to leap at opportunities to try new things, large or small.

After 10 months of blogging, I feel like I have done a semester course in International Development, or a short course in African economics, and a course in social media. These are my unexpected learnings.

So, my advice to other bloggers is to sniff around for new things to learn so that hearty learning curve can energize your blog.

If you're not on a learning curve, you're going nowhere.

It seems to be the same at the School of St Jude, which is growing so fast that everybody is on a steep learning curve. No wonder the kids are doing so well – learning encourages more learning in a virtuous circle.

If you want to learn a bit about the best development project in Africa and share a learning-journey, read my blog and support the School of St Jude.

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