Once Upon a Time a Teacher Joined Twitter…
I’ve always been passionate about teaching and technology. To be honest, I’m an absolute geek. I tend to explore and play on every new social media site I come across. It was some time in May 2007 when I first heard of Twitter. I signed up and read a couple of tweets; honestly, I couldn’t quite figure it out.
It wasn’t until May this year that I logged onto Twitter again. I started following some sports journalists so I could get the latest information on the World Cup, Argentinean people are really big soccer fans and I’m no exception. This time, I thought Twitter was fun and started checking it out more often. However, I had no clue how powerful it could be.
One day, while playing on Twitter, I came across some ELT Publishers and thanks to them I discovered some amazing educators that were tweeting about their experiences. I immediately started following them. I’m a bit shy, so I didn’t get involved in their conversations right away. Instead, I just lurked. However, after some time, I felt that lurking wasn’t enough… I wanted to get involved; I needed to share my experience. Soon after, I met George Couros; his amazing blog has helped me take my involvement a step further and I began commenting on his posts, which eventually led me to leave comments on other blogs too.
Little did I know that the best was yet to come…
I then learned what a Personal Learning Network or PLN was. I was really surprised when I realized I was already developing mine. I’m amazed by my PLN every day…what a difference it has made for me.
One day, I saw that everybody was tweeting about a fantastic online presentation: ‘Technology Integration in Grade One Classroom’ by Aviva Dunsiger… I felt so lucky I had followed the recommendations and watched Aviva’s presentation, because her presentation was a turning point in my teaching career. I had used sites and videos in my classes before and I had also heard of edublogs and teachers having class blogs, but I had no idea I could bring so many other wonderful tools into my classroom. Combining my two passions, teaching and technology… just the thought of it was exciting. I felt powerfully inspired!
Not only was I learning new things, but I also started putting them into practice. We are in the middle of our school year in Argentina, so I could not change everything I had already planned. Anyway, I’ve managed to do some awesome things with my students so far. We interviewed an expert and made a video out of that interview. We also did some really great activities using Wallwisher. In addition to this, we started blogging: “Sharing Good News” This has been one of the most amazing experiences in my teaching career.
As days went by, I kept sharing my ideas and thoughts through Twitter. I got to meet more and more fantastic people each day. I also started participating on #edchat, #ntchat, #elemchat and #spedchat. I also attended an online conference, the Reform Symposium…from home! What a powerful learning opportunity it was!
When I thought things couldn’t get any better, Pernille Ripp, one of the best educators I’ve ever met and who I really admire, asked me to write a guest post for her blog. I just couldn’t believe it… I decided to embrace this wonderful opportunity and shared one of the most important moments in my life, “Love Them Before You Know Them,” a story that has really changed me and my teaching. What happened after people had read my story was absolutely rewarding and touching… I received really enriching and encouraging feedback. What’s even better, many educators started writing their own posts inspired by mine… It was really moving. Suddenly, I felt the urge to write. I just couldn’t wait any longer.
So here I am, jumping into my blogging adventure. I don’t know where it will go… I do know I’ll be sharing my thoughts, reflections and ideas. I have so much to say and share. I’ve collected thoughts and stories for many years. I’ve been inspired and learned a lot by reading other people’s stories. It’s time I started sharing mine.
It’s just magical what happens when you build your PLN. I’m a better educator since I started tweeting, I’ve changed my teaching by creating more meaningful learning opportunities for my students and bringing tech tools into my classroom. I also started collaborating with other teachers and sharing ideas. The icing on the cake is #temt Twitter Exercise Motivation Team, a group of passionate educators that motivate and encourage each other to work out. I joined the team and I must admit, I work out mostly every day thanks to the team’s support. What’s more I even started following a run/walk plan.
I’m really thankful to: Pernille Ripp, for inspiring me and believing in me. She has encouraged me to share my stories more than anyone. She’s been so supportive since the very beginning. It’s mainly because of her your reading my blog now; Cynthia Cristelli, one of my best friends and mentors. I am the teacher I am today, because of her; George Couros had a lot to do with my blog too… not only for taking the time to help me set up the blog but also for inspiring me with his stories; Joan Young has also been really important in my adventure. Through her constant support and inspiration I learned to jump into every new opportunity. Her refreshing blog keeps motivating me all the time.
I’d also like to thank my entire PLN, especially: Aviva Dunsiger, Jennifer Verschoor, Shell Terrell, Lisa Dabbs, Kathy Perret, Kelly Tenkely, Nancy Ehrlich, Jessica Kelleher Clive Elsmore , Tania Ash, Kelly Alford, Vicky Loras and Will and Elvira Deyamport. You had a lot to do with this blog too. I love learning with and from all of you. You’re always there beside me. You’ve touched my life and inspired me to take this huge leap.
Building a PLN is essential. If you haven’t built it yet, you’re missing out a lot. Trust me, join Twitter and enjoy the adventure. I created a list of the most inspiring, supportive and caring educators I’ve met so far (I seriously hope I didn’t forget to include anyone) By clicking on this list you’ll be able to start following them pretty easily. You should know that if you follow these educators you’re just a step away of changing not just your teaching, but also your life. Hope you jump in, just as I did.