Building a community of practice

As you’ll know, we’ve been looking for people to join ALPS blog since Chad has to start thinking about his post-retirement golf swing and I’ve ended up at a university that doesn’t do face-to-face teaching.

That our call got any response is already a big win, a bit for us but much more because it reflects on the community we have been able to build since the blog’s inception in 2011.

I was reflecting on this just the other day, when I was on a call about promoting research culture in my university.

A lot of the discussion was about the difficulty of engaging colleagues in a sustainable way, especially when there are so many other demands on everyone’s time. It’s easy to say we should do stuff together, but someone’s got to organise the stuff and others have to attend the stuff.

It’s not dissimilar to here, except that I know that all of the original crew at ALPS benefited from Albuquerque’s lack of sightseeing options (and its excellent margarita provision) in generating initial interest in each other’s work.

But what sustained us beyond the memory of New Mexico was the realisation of the value of writing about our practice.

For a dozen years, this space has been central to the development of my teaching, both because I’ve read hundreds of insightful posts from others and because I’ve tried to work through what I do in my own writing. Teaching is learning, indeed.

That others have also found the same over the years is a constant source of happiness for me: our guest contributors have added a depth of richness to this blog that I hope you have all found as rewarded as we do.

So as we continue our discussions with the various people who’ve been in touch, I just want to thank you all for being part of this blog, whatever you’ve done and to encourage you all to keep on being very excellent people.

(Obviously, I’m now about to have a bit of a holiday, but the point still stands).

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