Social Media, Professional Support, and Education

The world of social media takes many forms. As do the people who access and use it. As one example, Twitter is used heavily by educators to connect to other educators and thought leaders from around the world. Some call this eduTwitter. Increasingly on eduTwitter, it seems people are posting negative reactions and comments to each other’s work. Instead, let’s push people to post more positive than negative. We all understand that hindsight is 20/20, but we choose to act like that rule is only acceptable for our own work.

Today, I challenge you on three fronts:

  1. Find ten posts that you like and rather than just ‘liking’ them, comment what specifically resonated with you from the work.
  2. Before you comment on someone’s post, ask yourself if you know anything about this person outside of their Twitter handle. If not, don’t post. Instead, ask them a question and learn.
  3. If you’re an educator: When you get back to school this year, apply the same concept to your students or staff. When you are tempted to tell a student ‘good job’, specifically mention what you were impressed with in their work. If you’re a leader, call out teachers for the work they do that focuses on providing students with impactful learning experiences.

Feel free to steal these questions that I asked my teachers to answer about any student we identified as being ‘at-risk’ for not graduating based on attendance, GPA, grades, or state test scores.

  1. What can you tell me about this student’s life outside your classroom?
  2. What are some things this student enjoys? Teams they support? Activities they participate in?
  3. Make one positive phone call home for this student, no matter how minute the positive behavior that was exhibited. Document the parent response here.