Next week sees the 3rd Slough Teachmeet – a gathering of teachers to share ideas, gripes, successes and… in their own time! Brilliant – A big hand to @msdetterick for organising this.
If you do not use Twitter, you might want to think again.
I can not attend the meeting in my own school, organised by my HOD v- I am taking some yr 13s to debate in the ESU Mace (see an earlier post). The delegates were due to get 3 minutes of yours truly telling them why I use twitter. Because it is a brilliant source of CPD and solace. Because it is exciting. Because I genuinely see the whole range of ideas and emotions on any topic from “dumbed down” exams, the Academy and Free School debate, the efficacy of Brain Gym…
This is the talk I would have given, and my far from complete list of twitter handles for the beginner – take it easy… no need to follow all of them overnight!
: and me – @Mrpeel
I should have been here this evening – sorry, though on a positive, you are spared 3 minutes of me speaking and can always choose to throw away this note.
But before you do, think again!
I often find myself in a group of teachers (this is a lie, but a well-intentioned one), and asking “do you use Twitter?” Often the silence that follows is deafening and I am confused. We work in a system which seems to be in a permanent state of flux and monitoring. This is not the moment for a discussion of why this should be, but it does make me think that we should be looking beyond our four walls for inspiration and suggestion.
Schools look inward at all levels – we judge our teaching against school standards; our students judge themselves against their peers in the school with no concept of the strengths or weaknesses seen countrywide; we design department monitoring/observation/assessment criteria which work for us, but we rarely put them up against those used in the school next door, let alone the school at the other end of the country. Stranger, to someone who entered the profession at the age of 40, is the close guarding of schemes of work or other paedagogical material that is still evident in many institutions.
I find Twitter to be a solution – not perfect, at times irritating and often impossible to keep track of, but this is a quick overview
• I can take part in discussion groups which focus on paedagogical areas of interest – I get advice, encouragement and CPD.
• I can support colleagues in other schools and receive support and advice in return.
• I can share resources and receive ideas in return.
• I can take part in wide ranging discussion around the role of the teacher in today’s society.
• I can laugh out loud and revel in success.
• I can try to emulate that success
• I can promote my students’ achievement
• I can help to promote my school
• I can read both sides of many current paedagogical discussions…
Why would any of us not do this? We need schools to authorise some discussion groups as CPD – after all the discussions are always turned into archives to enable checking. Above all, we need to open our eyes to the wealth of information available and to be prepared to enter into debates – after all the speed of change in the business is frightening.
My Twitter lists: incomplete and probably missing someone vital!
The names are in no special order, and I apologise to anyone ignored – it was not intentional!