Connecting Educators Beyond the Choir

In Professional Growth by rafranzdavis8 Comments

Choir drawn by Braeden, age 9

I don’t pretend to think that my blog has any reach outside of twitter. As a matter of fact, 98% of my readership is a direct result of it, which is a great thing. However, what often happens is that we tweet and retweet the same information to the same people…the ones that most likely either share the same ideologies or are willing to rethink. In essence, we are preaching to the choir.

While preaching to the choir isn’t a bad thing, I have to wonder what would happen in our classrooms if our twitter postings, chats and blogs reached the overwhelmingly large percentage of educators who are NOT a part “the choir”. More importantly, does “not being connected” mean that you are any less passionate than those of us that are?

I speak to so many educators who have yet to make the leap to connectivity. They’ve never read a single thought of another educator who was not in their building. Most have not joined any network because they have no idea what it’s about or how to get there. It’s pure information overload. In the meantime, there are thousands of postings of amazing ideas that can potentially revitalize even the most out of touch learning environments and unfortunately that information isn’t getting to those classes…to those teachers who NEED to read it and reflect.

About those blog postings of amazing ideas…

If you really want educators to connect with the idea of connecting, give them something to grab on to. In lieu of the next chapter of the “greatest edu/business book ever written”, introduce educators to the thoughts and classrooms of other educators. Bring those amazing blog postings to your staff if staff isn’t going to them. This can be a print or a blast to their devices, but engage the entire school.

Once that window of connectivity is open, continue the tread towards change. Invite those influencers into your school or staff meeting via Google Hangout or even Skype. Have deep conversations with those that are blogging or tweeting about ideas that matter to your campus. Can you imagine the impact on a school when other educators are chiming in to your staff meetings/PLC about how they are challenging their students and how their students are responding?

Once you do that, reflect on it.

Ask yourselves…

“What can we do to bring these ideas into our classrooms and then how can we share the process?”

In the meantime, while adding postings to feedly or bloglovin’, target a few to share at school. If you’re reading this as a teacher, share this idea with your administrator. Share it with a posting that is reflective of your school. Maybe that admin needs the value too.

I’m not saying to force ideas down the throats of those that you work with, however opening the door to deeper thinking can only lead to more of the same.

Comments

  1. This is a great article, Rafranz. It is the truth, too. I am really trying to connect all our campus to Twitter. In the past two weeks, I’ve seen about 50% of the staff join by creating accounts. It is not mandatory but a challenge I gave them. I am hoping now to take the baby steps to begin the more difficult part…learning to use and apply it.
    I do not want them missing out on all the wonderful insights and wisdom gained from blogs and tweeting.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much Mandy! We’ve got a long road ahead in my new district but we will most certainly get there. Telling people to connect is one thing. Getting them signed up is another. Getting them to believe in it is an entirely new idea!

  2. Ms R, as always you make sense. It was like when I first stated tweeting, I was tweeting myself. Facebook has its followers and Tweetie bird does to! Although the choir sings beautifully you have to have members for the church to hear the choir.

  3. It is sometimes very scary or weird how connected our thoughts are! Just catching up on your blog since last week I was a little preoccupied by a large bunch of numbers 🙂 but today during a casual conversation with a couple district folks, the topic was about my impromptu session I did at an event a couple of weeks ago…

    “now that I am on twitter… Now what?” It was totally supposed to be something else. I put my hashtag up on my screen, gave out my twitter name and saw most of the room not write anything down. hmmmm. i asked about it and asked if they wanted to know more.

    One attendee said she was part of twitter but didn’t have a clue. Even if you made it that far as she did (it’s great) do you really know what you are doing? We post our hash tags, give our twitter name out, but does that really translate into why connect with me? I confess, I got on twitter because someone said “wow. You should be on twitter.” I did but you know what…. I didn’t really even do anything with it for the first 3-4 months. I did it because some said I should. I found the value of it thank goodness, but I had to find that out for myself. I am betting that choir has also found the value. I would challenge people to find a late adopter and coach them, don’t just tell them they need to do it. Provide some ideas for people to follow, show them a couple of great reasons and let them find the value from those very simple ideas. I see so many conferences full of people but the same people tweeting over and over and over (the choir). I know, I know… There are a ton of twitter 101, the how to guide, the 21 day get on twitter guide. You know what? I am guessing the people these are intended for don’t even know how to find these guides or self helps. Always love reading your thoughts! Oh and I am taking one book with me on my upcoming vacation – bet you know which one.

    1. Author

      I just have to say that you should have no problem whatsoever writing that dissertation! You’re taking Teach Like A Pirate, I bet.

      I am so annoyed by people who say “join twitter” and then disappear upon doing it. Guidance needs to happen. I try to welcome any new followers who are also new to twitter and also send them Carl’s link. It’s so helpful! Value is everything and we have to do better about showing value or there really is no point!

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