The Twelve Days of Christmas

letter to Santa2

Dear Santa,

All we want for Christmas is for our staffs to learn to know and love Twitter like we do! How can we bestow this gift to our staffs this year in a way that would be meaningful?

As leaders we are faced each day with the task of helping teachers be better, better for our kids and better for each other. There is no better gift that we can give our students than a skilled, innovative, loving and connected teacher in front of them everyday. How can we, as model leaders, gently lead teachers to a wealth of resources that will make them better, faster?

The answer to this, we believe, is helping teachers build a Professional Learning Network in Twitter. In 140 characters they can get connected with like minded (or maybe not so like minded) educators going through some of the same struggles that they share. They can find resources, ideas, and learn about positive trends in education today. How can principals accomplish this? Principals can lead teachers to this understanding by building their own PLN and sharing the value of this wealth of knowledge with the staff.

So how do we, as leaders, begin to unwrap the gifts of learning, of collaboration for our teachers? Let the holiday countdown begin!

The 12 Days of Twitter

On the first day of Twitter begin with helping teachers set up Twitter accounts.

On the second day of Twitter follow everyone who signs up for an account and encourage teachers with suggestions as to whom they should follow.

On the third day of Twitter we would, as a building staff or group, model how a Twitter chat works. Host a chat just for your staff. This is a low stakes activity that teachers can practice the navigation of the Twitter platform.

On the fourth day of Twitter give teachers suggestions as to which chats to begin lurking, further encouraging them to hit the “like” button, or finally, actually chiming in with a tweet.

On the fifth day of Twitter we make sure each school has it own hashtag. We would teach teachers how to use this. One of our schools is #SCoveEl (Summit Cove Elementary) or for our district it is #ssdedu (Summit School District). Each time we tweet, which is daily, we use these hashtags.

On the sixth day of Twitter we would show teachers how to search and follow people. We try to find people that our teachers might like and share examples. For example, Kasey Bell @shakeuplearning, and @sylivaduckworth.

On the seventh day of Twitter show teachers how to favorite and retweet.

On the eighth day of Twitter display tweetbeam on an office monitor to remind teachers of this resource, as they walk through the office.

On the ninth day of Twitter share the school or district hashtag with parents so that they can follow along with the learning happening everyday in the classrooms.

On the tenth day of Twitter rejoice when someone famous follows you back!

On the eleventh day of Twitter count the number of people who follow you and tweet out something to share with them-be a giver as well as a taker of knowledge.

On the twelfth day of Twitter celebrate the accomplishment that you are a connected educator.

Other seasonal traditions to incorporate:

We host a weekly Twitter Chat for our district. We like to highlight authors and their books. Here is a calendar of all upcoming chats .

We purchase copies of the books and do a drawing each week from participants on the chat. Another exciting practice we have used with the Twitter chats is to collaborate with a district in another state around a specific topic. It is our goal next year to do a chat each week with a school or district from a different state. Would your district be interested in joining us for a collaborative chat next year? Let us know because we are beginning to plan the calendar!

There is literally a world of learning at our fingertips using only 140 characters to convey research, ideas, and knowledge along with encouragement and even possibly, new friendships. What are you waiting for? As a leader help your staff make the move. Sound the school bell and gently lead them into the land of Twitter. Maybe you’ll hear another angel getting his wings!

Have a wonderful holiday season. We count our PLN as a true gift.

Crystal Miller, co-author of this blog post, is the principal of Summit Cove Elementary in Summit County, Colorado. She is a new member of the Google Innovator Team #TOR16. You can find her leadership blog entries and you can follow her on Twitter at @CrysLaneMiller.

Leave a comment

Related Articles
Trending Topics
Latest EDwords Articles

© Copyright 2019 Accretive Media