guest blog #17 – Carolyn O’Connor – @clyn40

How Twitter helps me

I joined Twitter to try to make contact with other teachers from different teaching areas both in this country and others. Originally I wanted to try to keep up with the latest educational news and find resources and ideas to take back into the classroom. What I didn’t anticipate was just how supportive it could be and that I would meet so many great teachers. Some I have actually met in person. This has been through attending #NorthernRocks in June, #UKFECHAT teachmeet, also in June and two informal beer/teachmeets in Leeds (some of you might know this as #Starkeyfest).

One of the things I have found useful on Twitter is taking part in weekly discussion forums. The one I am most active in is #UKFECHAT. What these forums give is an opportunity to discuss issues in education and more importantly get advice and support from others teachers in similar teaching establishments.

On the theme of ‘Sharing is Caring’ it seems fitting to mention that a number of the FE teachers on Twitter (myself included) all contributed to an EBook which will provide free advice on different matters. This was the brilliant idea from @MrsSarahSimons . It will be free to download from the 4th September.

It’s not just about sharing resources and ideas on Twitter, it is also about the support and advice we all offer one another. This can be something as simple as wishing a person well in a new job to retweeting or commenting on a blog post. Often when we are in our schools or colleges we don’t have a great deal of time to chat with other teachers. On Twitter you can do that. You can air out views, ask for advice or just share a great moment from your teaching day. I will be doing a CPD session for my department in September and my aim is to encourage as many of my colleagues to give Twitter a go. It has (and will continue to be) been a fantastic experience for me and has really built up my confidence up as a teacher.



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