Many math teachers are so overwhelmed with the often unachievable “supposed to’s” that the thought of keeping up with their profession as it develops outside their own classroom experience is not even on the radar. But with those who find time, I think the most delightful part of teaching is learning and growing along with the students. Growth is contagious; and when students see us growing, they can be much easier to motivate.
I have seen Pinterest and Teachers-Pay-Teachers; but following great educators, from new teachers to seasoned administrators, coaches and consultants becomes a collaborative experience that models the 4 C’s like no other. If you want tweeps who encourage and share, it is important to be a tweep who encourages and shares. It is a beautiful thing to connect with #Edtech, #MTBoS, #joyfulLeaders, #EdChat…members who brainstorm in a chat session or post great ideas for free because they are most interested in helping students learn. None of us really know each other, which can be difficult for non-Twitter users to understand. It’s not like we are imaginary friends, although admittedly I get attached now and then to tweeps that make me laugh and think. The cool thing is we learn to be positive, productive, effective, players in groups of complete strangers. Our only bond is to grow and be the best we can be for our students .
Today I responded to a question from a Desmos writer and last night I answered questions for an ACT prep consultant and a higher ed teacher from another country. I can tweet out a question and get thoughtful answers from a variety of perspectives and I don’t have to explain to them which one works…although I might.
That is not to say I only follow those I agree with. I think it is of utmost importance if we want to have a voice in any issue, that we hear from all sides lest we become part of the blind fighting the blind. I even follow a few who regularly attack my faith and political beliefs. But those I follow are philosophically reflective and avoid ad-hominem because those qualities seem most likely produce answers worth considering.
At the end of the day, if I have had time to be on Twitter, I am stronger and better equipped to serve my students. What a satisfying ending indeed.