Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is Your Search for Personal Professional Development Keeping You from Becoming a Better Teacher?

My new discipline procedure courtesy of Kids in the Hall.

As I peruse Twitter, which is happening much less these days, I am looking for big picture ideas. I want to know where my network is shifting. I want to know what the NBT, next big thing, is going to be.

What I am noticing is that there are a lot of scattered paths going off into lots of different directions: those who are tweeting tool excitement, those who are flailing wildly at the season of high stakes tests, those who are stuck on if schools need to be blown up or just tweaked. What I don't see is a lot of conversations centered around becoming a better teacher and improving our practice. It is there, but I usually have to dig.

So, if you are using Twitter as part of your professional development, is it helping you become a better teacher or is it getting in your way?

11 comments:

  1. Great question. I think the quality of twitter comes down to who you follow. If you aren't being challenged, maybe it's time to do a purge?

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  2. Hi Will - I also find I'm turning to Twitter less and less for the important task of making me a better teacher. I instead focus on my local networks and closest circles of edu-friends that understand my goals and the context of my classroom. However, it is important to know that Twitter has taught me how to be a better self-teacher and reflector, so I have those skills that I can rely on within myself now... that would have never happened without my connected network. The shorter answer is this: Yes, that network is there when I need it. But they're no longer central to my mission of becoming better; they're a periphery of it.

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    1. I think once we use sm to find a community, it suddenly loses much of the value we originally find in it. Then it becomes more of a casual browsing place more and more.

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    2. I also think we look for validation within the network originally (am I the /only/ teacher in the world doing CRAZY things? I'm not! OMG!) and when we find it, we search for that tight-knit community takes over (who are the other crazy teachers who are my kind of crazy?).

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  3. Agree, Will! Twitter seems to have evolved into a self promotion forum by many and I find it is not nearly as collaborative and supportive as it used to be. This could be because many of our roles have changed over time as well.

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    1. I think much of the early adopters had better conversations because the medium was so new. I don't know why the new educators aren't having those conversations, maybe it is the oldsters who quit and therefor aren't modeling them. Whatever the reason, the best conversations tend to happen now with much smaller groups and usually in other spaces.

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    2. I need to find those spaces... #gettingleftbehind :(

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  4. To be quite frank, I am beginning to feel as if I am just about done with Twitter for education ideas. I am concerned that either the same ol', same ol' is being regurgitated or worthy "hot" topics are divisive and resulting in disrespectful discourse of which I want no part. I make a point to be positive and am trying to be hopeful the needed discourse can move in that direction.

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    1. We cannot control how other people behave, but we can choose to not engage with those who don't fit our needs or are just plain rude. :) I am very thankful that Twitter allows me to block people if necessary. It is sad that it comes to that sometimes.

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  5. What topics/ideas would you like to see? Can we make a space together?

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