The Reality of Twitter Stardom in Education

In Professional Growth by rafranzdavis14 Comments

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”- Eleanor Roosevelt

AN image from HackEd13. Nothing says we are all the same line a group of educators!

An image from HackEd13. Nothing says we are all the same like a group of educators!

The day that I received my invite to Discovery Ed’s Beyond the Textbook and saw the list of “names” invited, I was in shock. My initial thought was, “Why am I on this list?”  On that list were innovators, speakers, creators, “twitter stars” and ME. What on earth had I done to deserve to go?  I found myself questioning myself, my value and my contribution to the world. It was the single most bone headed thing that I have EVER done…and I have done a few bone headed things…but this was my LOW. I devalued myself in comparison to my perceived ideas of others. I stopped the insanity but this moment was a true wakeup call.

For the record, I was there because of a 5 minute life-changing conversation where my vision & work were communicated in only a way that karma can write…TRUTH!

When I got to Maryland, I was shocked at first at how “normal” everyone was. They were ME. We are all educators in a world that is NOT perfect. We apply for jobs that we do not get. We make bills that sometimes require some creative thinking to get them paid. We teach sessions for money, not for what we believe in. That last statement is NOT me, but it happens. We are insecure at times….often. We all use our tech tools way too much. Yes, I said it! And sometimes, we drive a dented honda because of our need to beat a little old lady to a parking spot….ME (bone-headed, I know)

Yesterday I read a post by Jessica Johnston and then today I read Jen Wagner‘s post  on the same idea…twitter stardom. I even kind of sort of wrote about it here… “How to Be Awesome Like Beyonce.”

The lesson here is this…

We respect and admire the work of others. We are even inspired to act as a result. Their work does not make them any better. We can all do it. We should do it. I am no “twitter star” or “edu-star” but I am a star in my own life and that is what matters most.

Never belittle yourself by over-uplifting others! We are all amazing and have much to share.

Comments

  1. Wait…do people actually think they are twitter stars or edu-stars? I’m so oblivious to things like that! I rarely see anyone as “famous” but if there are actually edu-stars I’d definitely put you in that category!

    1. Author

      LOL…yes they do…not the great ones though

      I am NOT…except in my house I am…just my house though!

  2. Well to a normal classroom teacher that truly believes in education like me, you would be in the ed star category. And not bc you think you are but bc we can relate to you and your blog is realistic.

    1. Author

      I am deeply honored by that. When I re-started blogging, I said that I could only do it if it were me…the real me! There are many educators that I admire greatly. I admire them because of what they made me feel as an educator…that anything was possible if you worked really hard and believed in kids. I admired them even more when I saw that they were so absolutely NORMAL. The fact that you can relate to my words mean more than anything. I don’t know about that “ed star” word. We are all ed-stars!

  3. You are definitely a Twitter Star for me! I am always lifted up by your tweets and blog posts–and you give me encouragement to keep on growing and learning. If that’s not a Twitter Star, then I don’t know what is! Keep on being your wonderful self… 🙂

    1. Author

      If I am inspiring you, that is amazing. That is what twitter is about…growing and learning together. We are ALL twitter stars and I stand by that 100%

      We are all educators!

  4. it’s almost like people have created a club to be cool in and then became cool. I don’t consider myself that and was actually taken aback by the photos and such at an event like ISTE. My reality hits me daily when I’m met with poopy diapers and doggie doo to shovel. None of us are beyond that, and that’s reality. When we step out of the doors of an even like ISTE, people don’t take photos of us, give us a special table for dinner or hang our pictures on the wall of their establishments. But they should. Because what we do matter just as much as those people making millions on the big screen. However, it’s back to reality though…and some poopy diapers to change. 🙂

    1. Author

      That is why we just adore you because you keep it real! My whole point in this was asking us to celebrate ourselves as well as each other. We do amazing things and it does deserve to be rewarded with applause and red carpet everywhere that we go. However, the most important thing that we do is cleaning those poopy diapers because at the end of the day the place were stardom should start and end is at home. 🙂

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  6. Rafranz,
    Right on! What resonates with me most is the element of truth. Truth in thoughts, words, and actions. I’ve had some recent, extremely authentic connections based on truth that are proving to me once again that honesty is best. I’ve also found after a dry blogging spell that my writing voice comes strongest and flows most freely when I connect to what’s real, what I’m passionate about, that which is truth to me. Allowing myself to share this along with just being myself is opening unique and exciting doors that simply wouldn’t happen if I was trying to be something else in this space!
    And I’ve discovered over time that so many of the educational celebrities (in the true sense of the word: those celebrated) on Twitter are just great people doing great things that connect, inspire, and resonate with people. There were times I felt like you in terms of questioning my educational worth in comparison to these folks. I would reply to them and receive nothing back. Was what I said not worthy of a response? This could very well be. However, after running #edcampHOME, on the day of my @ Connect stream was bombarded that entire day like it had never been before, not even in my most aggressive night of chats. I went from the event straight into a night with friends to packing and doing chores the next day to then going camping for a week. Meanwhile I tried my best as I could, on my iPhone, to reply and attend to every tweet, to follow back and start a conversation with every new educator follower, as you also do when you make new connections. I don’t think I got to all of them, sadly. Then I realized the traffic I received was likely a normal day for some of the folks we are speaking of.
    This is an important message you’ve articulated here.
    By the way, I too drive a dented, slightly rusted (I need to take care of that–trials of driving in the Northeast) Honda, a Civic DX w no eclectic extras, including no AC. Perhaps this is what keeps me honest. 😉

    1. I think that we project the celebrity thing on others. I’m not sure about the psychology behind it, but I don’t ever remember anyone on Twitter busting out like Will Smith exclaiming “all eyes on me!” (I will admit I might occasionally bust that out IRL 😉

      Twitter is a huge place and it can be very difficult to carry on personal, valuable conversations with large numbers of people, even when you aren’t camping. On the other hand it is a bad idea to only ‘run’ with a small group.

      I guess in the end we show who we are by what we do. I just want to share and learn and have an occasional laugh.

      1. Author

        I think that we do project. However, I have been there at witnessed those “basking in twilebrity” glory…annoyed the heck out of me. At the same time, I choose to now ignore it entirely. People show who they are through their actions and the ones in my PLN that I have chosen to be connected to are A-ok

        And they make me laugh 🙂

      2. Right on, Will. I agree that it is often projected on others. As I’ve learned to navigate the Twitters, I’ve observed few whom even with tens of thousands of followers, project themselves as celebrity. However, they and their contributions are celebrated by so many educators who value what they share, just as a Tweep with 50 followers may be celebrated for a post that gets passed around and shakes our thinking. In the end, I am with you. Trying to keep it real, make great connections, learn, and have some fun along the way, as you and I have been known to do at times.

    2. Author

      The dent, I can deal with. No AC?? No way…NOT in Texas. I would die in my car…literally.

      We share so many of the same beliefs in terms of connecting. I do what drives me. I blog what moves me. I can’t do fake and will always remain truly authentic. That is all that I know to be. You correct…we celebrate those doing amazing things and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t fall prey to devaluing ourselves.

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