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- The Day of Teacher Self-Care is Happening August 1, 2020 - July 21, 2020
Until three years ago I knew nothing about Twitter. I kept hearing about it from my students. I reluctantly signed up for a Twitter according to the directions and for months it sat there. That was until one night after watching a rerun from my favorite Scandal episode and I just wanted to find out about what Twitter was all about. So I logged in (after recovering my password) and I happened to "fall into" the #engchat. After realizing what it was (an online PLN) l was hooked. Here I was sitting in my living room in Atlanta able to connect with educators from across the world about my first love- Language Arts.
As I was tweeting (and simultaneously making more connections across the web) I realized that I was learning. Not from a text book or from some professional who had no clue about education, but from people who were in the "trenches" with me- other teachers. Teachers with a varying amount of experience, some were veteran teachers while others were newbies who happened to "stumble upon" Twitter as well. That same year I happened to attend my first ever ASCD conference and I was floored that Twitter played a huge part in how they connect to their audience.
Needless to say, from that moment we've been using Twitter to connect with educators at conferences, workshops and symposiums across the country. To get ready for the conferences for the upcoming year, use these four strategies to use
1. If you don't already have a Twitter account sign up now. Twitter is free and pretty painless to register on. Yesterday as I helped in a session at the ASCD Conference I helped an Associate Superintendent create an account and even tweet a bit in under ten minutes. Before long he was using the hashtag #savedbytwitter to chronicle his experiences. When you first log into Twitter it can be a little bit intimidating, but start off by searching for people you already know on Twitter . Or you can also look for organizations that you already follow (like The Educator's Room) and begin responding to their tweets.
2. Research hashtags that will connect you to other educators in your content area, grade level or interest area. The cool thing about Twitter is that EVERY content area and/or course has a chat on Twitter. These hashtags range from ones focused on english (think #engchat ) to ones focusing on educational technology (#edtech). If you type in those hashtags, you can literally follow everyone in the world who is tweeting, replying to that hashtag. Once you become an expert on that chat, you can dare to start your own chat based on what you want to talk about.
3. Attend Tweet ups that are sponsored by the conference. Almost every major conference has a Tweetup during some night during the conference time. Take time out of your schedule to attend and network with other educators from across the country. It's important to know the event's hashtag and use it to connect with people.
4. Tweet and tweet even more! This was my initial issue with Twitter at first- I didn't want to tweet. But after watching the tweets on weekly basis it became impossible for me not to respond so I began to reply and before long I was tweeting all the time.
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