Many people roll their eyes at the idea of school getting out early once a week or sparatic days off for professional development throughout the year. Even students sometimes question, “What do you do when we get out early?”
The truth is, professional development days too often include lists and lists of announcements and procedures. Little actual professional development occurs. Where does that leave educators who wish to collaborate and continue experimenting with new ideas in the classroom? Twitter! I spend countless hours on this tool each week benefitting from other educators. Whether I watch live chats or search specific hashtags later, Twitter is the best professional development tool I’ve found. It allowed me to connect with real people at ITEC because I was following them on social media prior. It connected me to the Voxer group I use for positive teaching energy each week, and it helped me create new lessons for my students because of other teachers sharing their professional blogs. I even communicated with another teacher who is going to share her student’s blogs with me later this year for my students to correspond with her class.
Twitter is what you make it, but I’m telling you it can be the best tool if you follow the right people. Here is a list of education Twitter chat times. Remember, if you can’t tune in live, just search the hashtag anytime to view the powerful conversations.
Another thought for Thanksgiving week comes from Patrick Donovan. He’s encouraging teachers to share something this week that has worked in the classroom. Are you up for his challenge?