When I first started at APS last school year I was appalled when administration encouraged teachers to have Twitter accounts – and even more shocked by the idea of tweeting what went on in our classrooms! They wanted us on social media?!? Didn’t this go against everything I had heard about getting (and keeping) a job? Regardless, being the good little worker-bee, I set up a Twitter account and sporadically through the year would tweet about things going on in my classroom. I would participate in the random Twitter chat, re-tweet on occasion, and felt I was doing as told.
It took about 7-months for me to realize what I was missing. While it was great that I was sharing with my 89 followers, I had yet to learn anything! The power was in the network, and once I developed a network, everything changed.
“Your network is your net worth. We improve when we open ourselves up to learning from others, share our ideas, and work together to create something better. And when we improve, our students benefit.” Katie Martin, Learner Centered Innovation
Fast-forward 9-months. I now have 2 Twitter accounts, one for school (@ATS_MrsDMusic) and one that is personal/professional (@TDucassoux). I tweet regularly, and I learn just as often. I love a good Twitter Chat. And on top of all that, I’ve built a network. People who believe what I believe. People who support me. People who push me to think and do outside my comfort zone. And it’s awesome! It has helped me to grow as a teacher, and in turn, has provided even more powerful learning experiences for my students.
I would recommend all teachers find their own tribe, through Twitter, Facebook, or whatever platform makes the most sense. But find your people. Connect, share, and grow. It may be safe in the comfort zone, and safe sticking with what you know, but the true magic happens for you and your students when you can look beyond that and try something new.