guest post #2 – Hayley Mc @hayleymc2222

Share and Share Alike.

After reading ‘Sharing is Caring’ by Martyn Reah (@martynreah) I knew I had to write something down in response. Twitter, and the inestimable pathways and connections it has led me to explore so far in my short career have made me the teacher I am, one year on.

twitter

Discussion is rapid, ideas cross hands in quick fire, and a platform of discussion only takes a second to establish. Meetings organised, teachmeets advertised and resources ‘pinged’ back and forth to willing specialists, like myself, who are quite ready to receive them.

As the new term approaches I inevitably start to think about new strategies, and in turn resourcing my lessons. The first place I turn to is not the shared drive on the school VPN, but instead Twitter and the vast teaching community I have emerged myself into. From TES (@tes) and their continual updates on changes in teaching and political announcements, to more local colleagues like Nikki Gilbey (@gillersn) who are welcoming practitioners from the surrounding areas to come and share their expertise at the upcoming #FCTeachMeet. I must add of course that I have only ever ‘met’ Nikki, as well so many other local teachers, across the wondrous place of cyberspace.

Teachmeets are often a physical and larger interpretation of the platforms established in places like Twitter. The recent #TMConnectED, organised primarily by my TPS colleague (at the time) Naomi Ward (@naomi7444) and Martyn Reah (@martynreah) enthused, excited and enriched my belief that teaching is absolutely the job for me. The space at Butser Farm (@butserfarm) was inspirational and those who presented and ran the workshops, even more so. Whether it be ‘in the flesh’ at events like this, or on Twitter, sharing really is caring! #TMConnectED and teachmeets cement the sharing aspect of teaching as something ‘real’, Twitter keeps you ticking over on a day-to-day basis.

People outside of work ask me “what celebs do [I] follow on Twitter?” I have a little chuckle to myself as I reel off the names of the superstars of the teaching world. Celebrities: those who have shown to consistently care about the profession of teaching and the goings on within our community; @teachertoolkit a ‘celeb’; @learningspy a ‘celeb’ and a little more locally, @davidfawcett27 a ‘celeb’. These are just three of the 427 people I follow on Twitter (as it stands today). I can only dream about my ideas and practice idolised as I do these, but when my tweets are ‘retweeted’ or ‘favourited’ I really do feel a sense of acknowledgement and recognition for the work I do and the ideas I share.

Twitter really is the place to be, and without it I can truly say that I wouldn’t be quite as established or confident in the classroom. Thanks to everyone I follow, who follows me, and all those out there who are waiting to be found.

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