I did something risky today. I updated my Twitter profile. Allow me to explain why this is risky.
As part of a Movers & Shakers unit, I recently started ‘teaching’ (what does that word even mean anymore when it comes presenting the use of digital tools to teenagers nowadays) my HS students how to use Twitter. The purpose is to connect with contemporary M&Ss through social media and determine the impact a 140character tweet can have.
We started with the basics: creating an account, getting rid of the egg, following each other and following different M&Ss on social media. I then tweeted our Director of Learning Innovation Mark McElroy, and asked for his input to which he responded:
Great advice! We dug deeper into the twitterverse to find people to follow that interested us, topics and hashtags, and of course our M&Ss. But what struck a chord with me that I didn’t even think about was the part about writing “a concise, complete profile”. Sure, I thought, that makes sense. But again, what does that really mean?
So I looked at mine which included my name, my position, a link to my most influential PLN (#SISrocks), a link to this blog and then something about me being “a confessed granola bar thief and dumpling lover”…?
I wondered, what is complete and concise about that? What is that really saying about me, my beliefs as a teacher, my passions, my practice?* I just couldn’t continue to preach something so banal let alone use it as a model for my students. As I struggled to show what a ‘complete and concise’ profile I realised I needed to quickly update my own.
This is what I came up with:
“Disrupting and innovating the traditional methodologies of ELL (English Language Learner) support through coaching and inclusion”
Yes, risky. Why? Because this is my digital self. Most people in my PLNs will meet me, get to know me and make assumptions about me through my Twitter profile. Most importantly, it’ll be expected that what I share and post, support the statement on my profile. Yes, yes, risky. I basically just tied myself to this statement, this philosophy, this disclaimer that yes ladies and gentlemen on Twitter:
- I’m disrupting the traditional practices used to support English Language Learners in schools
- I’m using innovative tools to move these methodologies out of the classroom and focusing on authentic not scripted learning
- I’m showcasing student work to empower ELLs to find a real voice in a language they didn’t grow up with
- I believe that ‘it takes a village’ and coaching models allow for real collaboration, flexibility and creativity in schools
I like it. I believe in it. Complete. Concise. Boom.
*To be clear, I do often steal granola bars when they’re offered as snacks in in-house PD days and yes, I do absolutely love dumplings.