I know, I know, none of us need another social media feed, but I would like to take a minute of your time to argue why every teacher should have a Twitter account. Until a year ago, I swore I would never have Twitter. I just didn’t get it. I ignorantly thought it was just a forum for celebrities to post deep thoughts such as “I love my new skinny jeans.”
However, since creating a Twitter account focused on my professional interests, I have learned that Twitter can be a powerful networking, and informational resource. I have formed several lasting relations with state education power players via Twitter. My first contact with our state Deputy Superintendent was through Twitter. I have been asked to join committees, write opinion pieces, and even apply for jobs due to other educators reaching out to me on Twitter.
The professional learning network(s) I belong to on Twitter are much bigger than my school based PLCs, or even state work groups. I am able to learn from and collaborate with teachers across the nation. Individuals with far more educational and policy expertise than I have post links to articles and web resources I would have never known about. I can honestly say I feel more informed and connected with state and national policy makers since becoming an active Twitter user. This is why every teacher should use Twitter as a professional tool.
A few pieces of advice I would give to teachers new to Twitter is to create a separate account specific to your professional interests. That way all of your posts are on topic and appropriate for a professional environment. Although it may be tempting to post pictures of your puppy and share the funny meme you found on Pinterest, save those posts for your personal social media. I would also advise that you keep your user name appropriate and easy to search for. If you use your Twitter account as place to micro-blog your thoughts on education and policy, and as a networking tool, you can proudly include your Twitter handle on your business cards (more thoughts on why every teacher should have business cards on a later post).