Remember the good old days of phone calls, face-to-face meetings and reading an actual book or magazine? These were the ways I received information to help me improve as a teacher when I started my career 18 years ago.
While I still enjoy reading a good book on leadership, teaching strategies or student learning, I have come to see the benefit of self-directed professional development on Twitter. It not only allows me to have access to a wider variety of professional practice articles and ideas, but allows me to be a resource for others in our profession. I did have a (rarely used) Twitter account prior to this school year, but this year I made one of my professional goals to explore and tap into the endless positive possibilities of the Twitter-verse!
I started by following many authors and professional colleagues whom I have met over the years. I would read tweets and access links to professional articles. The best part is you don’t have to get information secondhand, you can interact directly with the person writing the article or book. Having firsthand access to these people is invaluable to educators who work constantly to improve their craft and try to stay on top of best practices. I was so excited with the cutting-edge information I was able to access and share with others.
As I explored the possibilities of using Twitter professionally, I realized that the creation of a hashtag for Morris educators could create a valuable online resource. The principals of all the Morris schools get together regularly to meet and discuss ways we can collaborate for the benefit of every child in Morris. We also have two collaboration days per year when we get teachers together to share ideas and discuss relevant topics.
With the creation of the hashtag #TeachMorris, we could share ideas and all the great things happening in our schools with other professionals in our area, state, country and world. Now if you search #TeachMorris on Twitter, you can find many posts from all the schools in our town. Teachers and administrators share cool things happening at our school, positive quotes, and professional articles and ideas for others.
This is where you can come in and be a part of the great things happening in our schools. Do you have an idea for our schools? Have you seen ideas that could possibly be implemented here in Morris, or would you just like to give a shout-out to one of the amazing educators we have in our community?
Join me in the Twittersphere (@mrraffel) and let’s expand our collaborative efforts to make our schools the best we can for EVERY student.