Today, my (big) bit of recognition is that I’m becoming a National Teaching Fellow. The scheme, run the UK’s higher Education Academy, both recognises outstanding teaching and supports Fellows to pursue new work in their field. Basically a mix of an award and some money.
There’s only a handful of us with these in Politics, so I’m very made up to be joining their ranks, especially so many of them have been incredibly supportive of my work over the years.
But right now I want to give a huge thank you to the ALPSBlog community for all your support too: it would be fair to say that you figured very heavily in my application statement.
Ever Tuesday morning for the past four years, I’ve sat down a written a blog post for here, with only the occasional break. I’ve done that in part to show Victor how easy it is, but also because I’ve found an incredible positive group of people with whom to share.
I first met Amanda, Chad, Nina and Victor in Albuquerque in 2011, very much by accident, rather than design. The immediate sense of comradery and just clicking lead us almost immediately into one of the most productive professional relationships I have ever had. The Blog, our assorted published works, our workshops and consultancy: all of that has come out of being very comfortable with each other and through providing mutual support. I’m incredibly fortunate to have a group of people who can not only turn a half-baked idea into a great one, but who can also actually make it happen.
Added to that is the amazing audience of the Blog itself: you.
We don’t always hear from you in the comments, but we certainly hear from you when we meet you. And we meet you all the time. It’s a mildly egocentric thing to say, but it’s really great going to a conference or workshop and to have someone I’ve never met before talk my latest post or to ask advice about their simulation.
I’ll freely admit that my original approach to this blog was to write as if no one was going to read it, and just to feel comfortable with my voice. I’ve been lucky that my voice – together with my colleagues’ – has been something that you all seem to like reading. And not just in the US or UK, but around the world.
In October, the HEA will have a big ceremony in Liverpool for the new Fellows. I don’t think we get to do a speech, but I will be telling everyone who listens about all of you and how you made it possible for me to be there.