I judged Twitter way too fast. I didn’t understand it, didn’t see how it could possibly help my professional development and thought it was really just for people who had a lot of confidence to post photos of how good their lesson went of a photo of some great display board they created.
I once had a teaching partner who used Twitter a lot, she tweeted photos of everything she saw and articles she read. I still wasn’t convinced it was the platform for me. I started lurking her, looking at the photos and reading the articles. I came across some great reads and learnt what was happening in other grade levels at the school.
Slowly more colleagues started tweeting and joining chats. I still lurked from a distance and never mentioned that I had seen what they put on Twitter. I was enjoying the conversations, the professional development and the ideas that came from Twitter.
I still had questions and wasn’t completely sold on it. My teaching partner at the time said that “Twitter is the best Professional Development she can get”. I didn’t like this, I saw Twitter as almost the opposite of collaboration within the school. She was looking outside the school for ideas, shared articles not with faculty but with other people.
Fast forward a couple of years and I have a greater understanding for Twitter and can see the value in it. I take it for what it is, a place to share ideas, to locate current professional readings, to have discussions between schools and with colleagues. So many teachers now have Twitter accounts for their own professional development it is hard to keep an idea or great read to yourself. And really it is the sharing and learning from each other that I, as a teacher, really value. I realized that my teaching partner wasn’t hiding information but sharing in a wider community I have access to and can be involved it.
So, it has taken some time for me to join the Twitter bandwagon, but I am there and enjoying the collaboration within the school and with the wider educational community. I am not an expert or use it to it’s full capacity, but am now participating, not lurking.