I have a 21 year old daughter who is a social media guru. Twitter is one of her favorite tools for connecting to the world. I was a Twitter hold-out. I had a Twitter account for years that I set up basically to keep an eye on my children and their friends. I chose some interesting people to follow such as journalists and politicians – some because I liked their thinking and some because I did not. But I didn’t post. Ever. I didn’t understand why or how people were so connected on Twitter. THEN I started my journey with personal PD by reading The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros. He made me see Twitter differently. That was a little over a year ago. Twitter has been career-changing, not because it is moving my career forward neccessarily, but by how I am moving through it.
People who have known me for a long time tend to discredit me when I say that I am shy. I don’t come across as shy because I approach interacting with new people like a fire-walker before a bed of coals. I have always been a bit awkward – too much pondering and too much passion for the average user, I suppose. But on Twitter . . . there is no such thing as “too much”. Pondering and passion are the life-blood of these educators!
I just finished my Saturday morning ritual of #leadupchat with @PrincipalPaul, #satchatwc with @Burgess_Shelley and @BethHouf then #EduGladiators with @mgrosstayor. Saturday mornings are perfect for me. Everyone else is asleep. The house is quiet. The internet and coffee are all mine! I do my best to jump into other powerful chats at other times, but it is challenging. Family first. By the end of each chat, I have a new idea, renewed inspiration, revitalized growth mindset, a new idea to ponder and sometimes a sense that I contributed something meaningful to the conversation. That is powerful. It may ultimately be the difference between burning out or pushing on in this totally consuming career.
When my thinking is challenged on Twitter, I can safely assume it is for mutual benefit. When I ask a question or plead for help, answers and assistance are immediately forthcoming. I have made connections with people I would hope would be my friend should we cross paths “in analog”. I want to thank a few people who made an impact on me and how I see myself as an educator: Melissa @ChouinardJahant, Beth @BethHouf, Teresa @teresagross625, Bethany @bethhill2829, @valerietilton, Mark @shiftparadigm . . . and so many others, because they are kind, positive, encouraging and growth-driven educators who made me feel validated even if challenging me.
If someone tells me they want to grow as an educator but they don’t want anything to do with Twitter, I sigh deeply because Twitter is the water they are asking to drink. Come grow with me. The ideas and possibilites are endless, but the time we have to impact our students is limited. Begin today.