teachers on twitter

Teachers on Twitter? Anybody doubting the power of Twitter should take note. Read Derbyshire teacher Philip Clarke’s recent tweet in response to Donald Trump’s suggestion that one way of preventing further school shootings would be to arm teachers.

The witty retort said: “As a teacher, I knocked myself out head butting ceiling pretending to be a particle, star-jumping off a desk. I’ve set my arm on fire when lit ethanol trickled down sleeve, from my hand. I’ve burnt my ear listening if gas was coming out of a bunsen.

And concluded: “Please don’t give me a gun.”

At the time of writing (4 days after being posted), the tweet had been liked 400,000 times, received 103,000 retweets and prompted 2,700 comments.

But funny as the aforementioned tweet was and impressive as the tweet’s stats might be, what can teachers on Twitter really get from the platform? How can they get the most from the channel?

Teachers on Twitter: the greatest resource of all?

The words ‘social media’ and ‘schoolteacher’ don’t always fit together nice and neatly. Teachers need to ensure that their personal accounts are kept out of sight of their pupils. This is easier said than done, so it makes it vital for teachers to be very careful about what they post.

Similarly, although there are obvious ways that social media could be used in the classroom to benefit students, the veritable can of worms that doing so opens means that most teachers avoid it like the plague.

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But that doesn’t mean that Twitter doesn’t offer a lot to teachers. In fact, Twitter is one of greatest resources of all for the teaching community. It really is a goldmine of information, ideas and inspirational thinking.

Teachers on Twitter? Well, every teacher should be!

In fact, Twitter is one of greatest resources of all for the teaching community. It really is a goldmine of information, ideas and inspirational thinking.

A great way to expand your network

Continued Professional Development (CPD) is, quite rightly, central to the way teachers develop and progress as professionals. But the ‘CPD climate’ has changed considerably in recent years. Budget cuts and the inevitable pressures of the day-to-day mean that ‘days out’ on face-to-face courses are less common.

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CPD is now more likely to be in-house, which is fine, and the onus is on the individual to look for CPD opportunities. This is where social media – and Twitter in particular – comes into its own.

Twitter is a fantastic resource where you can learn so much about classroom teaching and the wider debates in education.

Find and share resources on Twitter

Teachers on Twitter are a generous bunch. There’s a very good chance that for every resource you need or think you need to create, there will a ready-made resource already shared for you to use, thanks to a kindly soul on Twitter.

And teachers appear to be as productive – even prolific – as they are generous when it comes to producing resources.

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It’s gratifying to know that, despite all the pressures of schools these days, that there is still a real willingness to share from teachers.

Teachers on Twitter are a generous bunch… there will a ready-made resource already shared for you to use, thanks to a kindly soul on Twitter.

New perspectives and new thinking

Twitter constantly keeps you up-to-date with new thinking and ideas about education. This ranges from the useful research undertaken about learning strategies by the likes of The Learning Scientists @AceThatTest. If you are interested in the science of learning, this account is a must.

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Regardless of the stage you teach, subject, specialism or particular area of interest, there will be somebody worthwhile to follow on Twitter.

@EngChatUK is a weekly chat for English teachers. Each week focuses on a different area of interest. Similar chats can be found for other subject areas.

Regardless of the stage you teach, subject, specialism or particular area of interest, there will be somebody worthwhile to follow on Twitter.

Twitter is for all teachers

Trainee teacher, NQT or senior leader – Twitter has something for all professionals at any
career level.

The spirit is very much one of sharing. Yes, if you are short of ideas and inspiration at any time then Twitter is a good place to look. There’s a very good chance that you will find the answers you need on the platform.

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But Twitter works best when people give and take. Those that are willing to engage, collaborate and share will ultimately get the most from the platform.

The real beauty of Twitter for teachers is that it works on so many levels. You can find and share resources. You can debate issues and get advice. Or, if you prefer, you can just let off steam or simply enjoy the funny observations that teachers make about their time in the classroom.

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