I first started Twitter for #edu after being introduced to it by my first principal.
At first, I groaned, “Really?” My husband had already practically forced me to join Facebook in 2008.
Truly, I never liked technology much in the sense of communication as a teen and early adult: beepers (nope)–cell phones (blahhh) and email (yikes). Who needs all that baggage? I wanted to be free as a bird, happy go lucky Laura. That’s all.
Since, I’ve realized that when people actually care about you and your well being you cause them great amounts of undo stess by not being a strong communicator. I’ve learned it’s not about me, but the friends and family who care about me.
Now, that being said, Twitter is a fantastic tool for learning and collaboration! I could not imagine only reading professional articles or dry texts on education as my main source of growth. However, on the flip side, we need not try to be a carbon copy of the great educators we study via Twitter.
The greats such as Dave Burgess and gang, Ron Clark, Alice Keeler serve to provide fantastic dialogue and helpful resources, but not at the cost of our own passions, our own voice, and our own mission as educators.
Furthermore, it’s easy to connect online (it barely takes any effort), but how can strong connections and learning be achieved at an even deeper level offline?
Here are seven suggestions:
1. Have lunch with someone on your team. Make a consious effort to invite someone to eat with you. Bring cookies (always a positive).
2. Start a book club in person! Find an awesome educational read, like one of Dave Burgess’ books and have a study. Bring cookies (again, always a positive).
3. Pick up a few $1.oo cards while doing your weekly shopping, and fill them in with inspiring messages and place them in their teacher boxes.
4. Smile and make eye contact with others (even if they ignore you) People have a lot on their minds-make a conscience effort. Remember it’s about them (not you).
5. Be quick to respond and help others in need. Go above and beyond their expectations of you!
6. Visit another classroom and watch other educators in action at least once a month.
7. Host an edcamp at your school, just for your fellow teachers: provide coffee and pastries. Offer jeans passes or other incentives and let the learning happen!
Remember that in the world of digital communication, relationships are at a surface level at best. Let’s make a difference by truly connecting and learning from those we work with every day, and also remember to be the educators we were born to be. God brought us here for a purpose.
Teach and love it!