Embrace tech! Twitter is the perfect place for educators to network and develop
Social media has changed the world, whether you love it or not, it can be a valuable classroom resource. Focussing on the perks of social media is a really great way to bring about more benefits to your career and it to your advantage. By using it as a positive tool, we can develop ourselves and network with some really fantastic people. That's why we've created this Twitter guide for educators and teachers, to help you utilise the great resource Twitter can be, and to use it to your, and your students' advantage.
Hashtags are the core of Twitter and run through its heart. It's how Twitter developed its niche and found its place in the world. Hashtags allow us a dive into a specific discussion, conversation or topic and to connect with users across the globe with the same knowledge and expertise as us. This applies to teaching, librarians, school staff and anyone else! We've selected some of the best and most valuable teacher hashtags that anyone can give a search:
- #TeacherTwitter- A large one, this is generally more used for discussions on the topics of teaching worldwide, or more national conversations and what's going on in schools and teaching as a whole.
- #EduTwitter- Focuses more on the educational side of teaching, this can include resources, sharing tips, meeting others and having a chat about all things education.
- #Teachers- A very broad topic, generally for people to share their teaching news, teaching topics, placements, jobs and generally network with the wider community.
- #Teacher5oclockclub- A small club for UK teachers that are awake at 5am. Slightly more niche than others, but this hashtag is a community of teachers supporting each other through those early mornings and bringing a smile to the upcoming day! If you're ever up at 5am, do check it out.
- #Edchat- Similar to Edu Twitter but more focussed around chatting and sharing knowledge and expertise.
These are just some examples of the possibilities Twitter can have to network with other educators and school staff. Give them a go!
Some influential teacher accounts on Twitter facilitate threads which house many replies from educators specifically looking to connect and meet others. Oftentimes they're focussed on sharing your educational bio and nurturing a chat with other like-minded people. They're a really positive place and great to share ideas, get support and network with professionals. Here are some of the threads we love:
- On Tuesdays, #TinyVoiceTalks from @Toriaclaire- This thread runs every Tuesday and is set up just to support educators to meet others in the field.
- On Wednesdays, #FFBWednesday from @DeputyGrocott- Similar to Tiny Voice Talks, FFBWednesday is dubbed as 'The No. 1 way to make educational connections!' and is full of a great bunch of educators
- On Thursdays comes #KindnessRipple from @richreadalot- It's time to share the love! On Thursdays, the kindness ripple takes over and educators can share accounts that made them smile throughout the week and start off the kindness wave, a beautiful thing.
- On Sundays and Wednesdays it's #YourMindMatters from @rf_watson- Teacher mental health can often be overlooked, but this tread creates a safe space to focus on and discuss your mental health, what challenges you're facing and being together through your issues.
- On Friday it's the #FridayQuiz from @pennywpennyw- Some Friday fun! Penny creates a fun Friday quiz to take part in and share your amazing scores (or not). It just brings a smile to a Friday and sets the day up right.
As most know, teaching is a broad field! From specialising in subjects, being a subject lead, SEND co-ordinator, school librarian, admin, headteacher, or focusing on EdTech (and so SO much more), there is a small slice of twitter for you. We can't list every single speciality and some great accounts here, but really dig into what you're after. Search keywords in the search tool, find people you want to follow, find the specific hashtags you're interested in and keep an eye on them! It really is about developing your timeline and finding the accounts you want to be around on Twitter.
Twitter comes with a whole range of benefits, and one of them is teaching materials! Alongside our own writing and teaching resources, you can find educators on Twitter who create and share their own resources. I've seen anything from online diaries and planners, class board ideas all the way to full lesson plans and some really fantastic EdTech materials. Finding these also comes down to following your niche. If you're an English teacher, you'll be looking somewhere different to a maths teacher for example. Simply search what you're after + resource ( for example: English teaching materials) and you're sure to find something after a few minutes.
Twitter is what you make of it. You can be an observer and not tweet much, you can follow others and check out their resources and threads, or you can get involved yourself, meet people and develop a network. It really is for everyone, ultimately the more you put into it the more you'll get out of it. So go forth, venture into the Twittersphere and make the most of it! It really could change and help your career in more ways than one, so give it a go.
And remember, the most important account to follow... @YoungWritersCW 😉