What have I learned from writing my blog?

One of my more perceptive readers, who was also a close friend during my Teach For India fellowship, recently asked me - "What have been your learnings and reflections from maintaining your blog? You have been doing this for a while now..."

That got me thinking... I realised that my blog recently welcomed its 67th post and turned 5 years old. I found it a little ironic that one of the themes of my blog is 'learning' but I had never stopped to concretely consider what I had learned from writing this blog! 😀

Well, the virus-which-must-not-be-named has led to my locality coming to a standstill with only the melodious chirping of birds or the bark of a dog periodically punctuating the silence. The pandemic that the world is struggling to contain provides food for thought on how fragile our ecosystem and existence on this planet is. The silver lining amidst the dark clouds of gloom is that, in the peace and quiet of a weekend at home, I am compelled to become more aware of things that I may have taken for granted.

Things like this blog that are a key part of my life.

The evening sun streams through my room windows along with a balmy breeze...

My friend's question couldn't have come at a better time...

My blog is living

The seeds of my blog were planted out of a desire to document events and experiences from my time in the fellowship. My children and those countless moments inside and outside the classroom meant a lot to me! 😃

From there, it grew to include writings from other post-fellowship teaching experiences at the ASSET Summer Programme and the ASSET Day Scholar Programme.

Gradually, it expanded beyond the realms of teaching to include articles and reflections based on my readings and discussions at graduate school. The idea of penning down a series focused on a theme (like the Thoughts series) also took flight at this time.

I don't know where my blog is heading or how it will evolve in the years to come. As of this moment, what I do know is that it is living, growing and a reflection of my experiences and thoughts on learning, teaching and education.

This brings me to...

More questions than answers

I've concluded that I end up with more questions than answers on the three themes of my blog. Be it understanding the role of testimony in moral education, unpacking why children fear mathematics or grappling with the absence of history in teaching - nothing is black and white and clear answers are few and far between. 

The power of photos and pictures

Photography is something that has given me a lot of joy and satisfaction since I was a teenager. Through high school and college, my camera was a trusted companion that captured instances of time for posterity!

This interest in photography continued during the three years of the fellowship and you will find an imprint of this hobby on all the posts that I wrote from 2015 to 2017. I believe that photos are sometimes more powerful than words in conveying a message and writing my blog has reinforced this belief. 😀

There is no 'typical' post

There are posts that took me just a few hours to publish - like this one which I wrote on the same day that I completed the course with Section Alpha while the memories were fresh.

There are posts that took me well over a month to research, write and rewrite - like this one on the layers of teaching.

There is a series that spanned ~9 months and I am in the process of completing another series that started about a year and a half back.

There are reflective posts that took a lot of energy out of me and narrative posts that brought a smile to my face.

There are analytical posts that centred around mathematics and required time and effort to break down for the reader.

There are practice-oriented posts related to pedagogy that could aid teachers in their classroom instruction.

Summing up, there is no such thing as a 'typical' post!

I cannot plan to write

For me, writing needs to flow and I need to be in the right mood and frame of mind. Deciding in advance that I will write a post on topic 'xyz' on the coming Saturday morning just doesn't work for me.

On similar lines, the ideas for many of these posts struck me at times when I least expected and wasn't actively looking for something to write about. I would let these ideas marinate in my head and take a life of their own before sitting down to make handwritten notes for how I would like to structure the post (yes, I am old-fashioned in that way!). Thereafter, when it felt right, I would sit down to type and the piece would, over time, take the shape of something that I was happy to publish!


As alluded to in the preceding two sections, writing (for me) requires patience and letting a piece flow naturally through different stages of creation.

Depending on the nature of the post, this process can last a few hours to a few weeks. I find it enjoyable so long as I don't try to bulldoze my way through it!

Opening up

I'm quite a private person and that fact was reflected in how I slowly opened up my blog to more readers over time. At first, it was just a place for me to write - I wrote it online and not as text documents thinking that I may eventually want to share it with a wider audience. Other benefits were that a blog allowed me to connect and link elements from different posts with one another and I could categorise posts according to their central theme.

So, in a sense, my blog can serve as a window through which friends, students and colleagues can view my experiences and thoughts on learning/teaching/education and share their comments, ideas and opinions as well.

For someone like me who isn't predisposed to sharing a lot about himself, my blog is a medium through which one can learn more about what I do and how I think about subjects that are important to me. 😃

= = = = = = = = = =

As of this moment, these are my relections and learnings from writing my blog. Maybe, there will be a sequel to this post some years from now with even more learnings and insights!


  1. 67 posts! Congratulations.

    Keep them coming!

    1. Thanks!

      Scrolling through them, especially the initial few, makes me miss my little children (who are no longer that little!) quite a bit! :|

  2. Thanks for sharing this! There'e definitely a method to the madness given how you let the flow of your thoughts and mood organically govern what and when you want to write about. It was great to read about your perspective on the blog 5 years ago to how it has evolved to this day; from mostly being a private forum to slowly becoming a public forum now. Excited to see how your blog continues to grow and to read more and more about your philosophy and experience with methods of teaching :)

    1. Thanks, Kartik! :-)

      One clarification - 'method to the madness' is usually used to suggest that there is a reason/logic/plan behind someone's strange/weird/crazy behaviour. Is that what you meant here? I wasn't able to see the connection clearly...

      Yes, when I think about how/why I started it to today... it was quite a fun and unexpected journey!

  3. 5 years already!! Great stuff man. I am really happy that the blog helps you capture and present your experiences in such a beautiful way :)

  4. Pictures do make a big difference in communicating not just the community you've helped build, but also the math itself! Congratulations on 5 years.

    1. Thanks, Graham!

      Trust you to point out how pictures help in communicating math! ;-)

  5. Thank you for sharing the post bhaiya! I saw our group photo of 8th (made me revisit the photo which you gave us all and the comment on back)that made me a bit nostalgic. Also I got to know a similarity between us bhaiya the first paragraph of I cannot plan to write wala. Yes after reading this I would say rather not to use the word blog again because now after 5 years it has become more than just a blog. It is a place where you are sharing you experience and ideas. So I believe it is more than just a blog.( It's my suggestion bhaiya).
    Concluding congratulations for the 5 years !! HURRRAAYYYY

    1. Thanks so much for your heartfelt words, Adnan! :-)

      It means a lot to me...

  6. I derive a certain degree of pleasure in regards to what you are doing, your documentation and process.

  7. Thanks - I'm glad that you're enjoying the posts! :-)


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