“You need to get yourself on Twitter – there are some amazing teachers on it!” And so started my journey into the world of Twitter.
After a few nervous moments thinking ‘Who do I follow?’ ‘Why would anyone follow me’ and ‘Will I have the time to give proper attention to this?’ I followed some people whose books I had read – @fullonlearning, @jackiebeere and @dylanwiliam – and a couple of brilliant ex-colleagues @caldiesenglish and @LoveEnglishNPCS.
I can honestly say that my pedagogical practice has developed more in the last six weeks than it has in the previous two years. Every day, I’m bowled over by the kindness and generosity of teachers who share resources and ideas without a second thought. A special mention to @ASTsupportAAli who contributes so many resources to the Twitter community; after meeting him at #TMLondon earlier in the month, I can tell you he’s just as great in person! Also, I had my first professional Skype conversation with @TeamTait on developing a strong learning culture after an initial tweeting of ideas. His support has been invaluable in helping me to shape my vision of what I want for my school. Moreover, apart from tweeting other teachers, reading their extended thoughts via their blogs has provided masses of inspirational teaching ideas.
If I had not joined Twitter, I wouldn’t have done the following:
1. Gone to my first Teach Meet, organised by the unstoppable @TeacherToolkit and @Actionjackson. I had far too much fun for an after school training event!
2. Written my first ever blog post for @pedagoo about CPD – it gave me the courage to start my own blog.
3. Replaced superficial WWW/EBI peer assessment with ABC peer critique after reading brilliant posts from @ShaunAllison and @HuntingEnglish.
4. Developed my marking feedback by being inspired by @kevbartle’s ‘Taxonomy of Errors’
5. Changed my ideas about Bloom’s after reading posts by @totallywired77, @Head_stmarys and @LearningSpy about SOLO taxonomy. I now provide more challenging learning outcomes for my students and they are much clearer about what they need to do to improve. I’m now looking to spread SOLO taxonomy across the whole school through SoWs.
6. Had great fun contemplating how to make use of a range of cheap items by getting involved in the #poundlandpedagogy challenge via @WallaceIsabella
7. Considered how to become a better senior leader after reading wise words from @kevbartle, @johntomsett and @headguruteacher.
One final thought on why I’ve become a better teacher: instead of talking over ideas with a few trusted colleagues, I now connect with hundreds all over the world. Twitter is like walking into a global staffroom and sitting down to talk with brilliant, thoughtful and sincere colleagues – who wouldn’t want to be part of that?