guest post #30 – Chris Curtis – @Xris32

Twitter is a modern-day symposium

Teaching has been a very isolating job for me. I can’t do that because I have to plan. I can’t do that because I have to mark this weekend. I can’t do that because I have to go to school tomorrow. It swallows you life if you let it.  Also, the nature of the job means that you never complete everything that needs to be done. If someone says they have, they are lying. There’s just so much you have to do.


I have always joked that James Bond baddies exist in the world. They are just teachers that didn’t go bad. One person that controls a group of henchmen (students) to do their bidding. Anybody that fails to do his /her bidding will be punished. The cat is optional, but I do have a chair that swivels. Come to mention it, I do have laser pointer too.

Anyway, the point is: they live in isolation to the rest of the world. And, that’s generally what happened before Twitter. Teachers worried on their own. They planned on their own. They thought on their own. They praised their efforts on their own. They enthused on their own. They moan on their own. They cried on their own. I did. It is to be hoped that Twitter has stopped this.

Simply: Don’t do things on your own.

It is a little known fact that there are 1207.5 people experiencing the same thing you are in teaching. (The 0.5 is because someone is still in denial about it.) At this moment, there are 1207.5 people wondering how they can get class of students to proofread their work. At this moment, there are 1207.5 people wondering how they are going to cope with a particular class. You are not alone and Twitter proves that.

The beauty of the old Greek symposiums was that a higher plane of thought was reached when the minds meet together after a meal and some booze. Too long in education there was a vacuum. There were some voices, but as there was a vacuum, they dominated the discussion. Sadly, there was very little dialogue. It was the same old voices all the time. There was no network. There was no collective discussion.  Now, we have less of a vacuum and more of a cacophony of voices.  Ideas are explored, challenged and discussed. Minds are meeting and some interesting things are coming out of it. We are learning new things.

I have learnt so much from Twitter. Sharing is caring, but sharing is also learning and discovering. Oh, and it is also helping and cheap therapy.

So, Mr Bond, I mean Set 3, we meet again!


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