|Don't let his cuteness fool you. This is serious business.|
I will start this post by saying that I have been on Twitter since July. At first I was very skeptical because, like many other sane people, I thought, "Who in their right mind wants to know what I am doing every second of the day?" I started following a few celebrities (@jimgaffigan anyone?), but it took me a while to figure out how connecting with other educators on Twitter would help me grow as a teacher.
Eventually I started quietly following some teachers, technology specialists, librarians, etc. Keep in mind that at this point I had just finished a pretty successful school year, and I considered myself to be a pretty effective, technologically-savvy teacher. Boy, was I wrong.
Here is the problem with Twitter. You are suddenly exposed to all of these wonderful, thoughtful people who seem to have everything figured out. Honestly, the first month or so I was on Twitter was spent just figuring out what the heck people were talking about. I almost deleted my account a few times, because I have a very weak stomach for anything that seems pretentious or self-promoting. Finally I came to the conclusion that I was jealous. I don't know about you, but jealousy is a pretty strong motivator for me. I stuck with it and now I am so glad I did.
Before I joined Twitter I was happy. I thought I was doing a pretty good job as a teacher, and I was content to do the same things year after year. Now, I don't ever seem to be satisfied. This is why Twitter is dangerous to educators. You are suddenly aware that there are so many possibilities for teaching and learning that you never even considered or knew about before.
Another way Twitter is dangerous is that it puts you out there. You are opening yourself up to be mocked, criticized, or worse. At the same time though, you are opening yourself up to a world of ideas and opportunities. I have felt empowered this year to try many new things, and I know my students are the better for it. I used to like feeling like I had it all figured out. Now I like living on the edge.