At the Durham Elementary School Administrators conference last year our keynote speaker, George Couros, asked the question, “What if every teacher tweeted one thing a day that they did in their classroom to a school hashtag, and they took five minutes to read each others’ tweets? What impact would that have on learning and school culture?” Recently on Twitter, someone I follow reposted that quote, and I mentioned two DDSB schools that have done an incredible job of embracing the idea – Glen Street PS and Beau Valley PS.
We have hundreds of educators in the DDSB using Twitter – at least 185 of whom are included on this list, in case you’d like to follow them. So what makes Glen Street PS and Beau Valley PS so special that I wanted to point them out? There are so many teachers sharing what goes on in their classrooms each day from these schools – I would venture to guess that more than half of their staff are tweeting regularly. From the ordinary every day activities, to the novel approaches to learning, to the heartwarming moments that happen in their classrooms, these educators are not afraid to virtually open the doors of their classroom. Try checking out #BeauValleyPS or #GlenStPS for some inspiration.
George’s question was, “What impact would that have on learning and school culture?”. From my perspective, I would say a tremendous positive impact at both of these schools. First of all, as an outside observer, I regularly get a sense of what is happening in these classrooms in terms of both teaching and learning, as well as classroom and school culture. However, it is the interaction between these educators that is so fascinating to me – I regularly see colleagues comment on each others’ posts, providing feedback or asking questions. I know many of these educators, and I know it was likely outside of the comfort zone for some of them to begin sharing in this way, but by allowing themselves to be a little uncomfortable, they are enhancing their own learning and helping others to grow.
by allowing themselves to be a little uncomfortable, they are enhancing their own learning and helping others to grow.
While it would be wonderful if we could all visit each others’ physical classrooms regularly to gain insights or provide feedback, it isn’t always possible. However, by opening up your virtual doors, you have the power to enhance your teaching practice and the practice of others.
Does your school have a number of educators sharing their learning? Let us know in the comments.