Now, as a latecomer, somewhat bullied into joining with a list by @Chocotzar and @betsysalt, despite my protestation about needing to be nominated, which was countered by Stephen Tierney, aka @LeadingLearner, I have spent time thinking around the topic.
It’s been a couple of years since I joined Twitter and started blogging, first as a freelancer for Inclusion Quality Mark, in which incarnation I was able to “meet” digitally and then in person at events like TLT14/15 and Northern Rocks, a range of people with mutual interests. This, I gather, is now known as a PLN, a personal learning network, which is a grand way of saying that we “talk” together from time to time and share ideas. This, in my mind, is an essential good of social media, when teachers, despite working in what should be a team environment can feel isolated. Branching out definitively on my own in October has enabled further personal discoveries, in that I have been able to do some work with @JulieLilly and @AlisonPeacock, with @BeyondLevels ideas, as well as being asked by other providers to undertake projects. Twitter and blogging does have significant advantages.
The past two years have shown me that we are blessed in this country with very deep thinking, highly articulate and exceptionally motivated teachers and school leaders, who, on a day by day basis work their socks off to make schools the best places that they can be, then spend their spare time writing blogs or books or travelling to speak to teacher gatherings, often for free.
@johntomsett @headguruteacher @LeadingLearner @rlj1981 @DavidDidau @HeyMissSmith @DisappointedIdealist @IcingOnTheCake @Pekabelo @ICTevangelist would be among that group.
Working with ITE students in another disguise, I see, every year, a new stock of incredibly committed young teachers, now prepared to spend £30K+ in order to be able to take up a teaching job somewhere. For those who doubt it, based on their own experience, the bar is set high and these students jump higher.
So teaching, to me, should be in a good state, but it isn’t all over the country. I have, on file, many visits to exceptional schools, often in difficult circumstances, which achieve despite the odds, down to vision and sheer hard graft from all concerned.
Those teachers who are less well read and those with less time to think and act effectively, as a result of multiple distractions, which can be building, staffing, children, families, community, looking over their shoulder in an accountability heavy environment, can revert to simplicities in an attempt to provide the essentials of a “good” education. But a good education is holistic and all the elements have to cohere if they are to be effective over a lifetime. It takes reflective time and a group with whom to discuss in some form.
Those people who blog should be celebrated for sharing their thoughtful insights, often developing ideas which are then added to by interested colleagues. Some go further and share or run #Teachmeets. @davidfawcett @davidrogers @martynreah for example.
Many of the successful bloggers are Secondary and have an English language background, which is evident in their articulacy and cultural references. This group gets lauded regularly, so I want to celebrate a few people whose voice might seem small in comparison, but whose contributions I look forward to, or I’d just like to thank for their own Twitter and/or blogging efforts and their supportive comments from time to time.
By choosing five, I have tried to stick to the rules, but it was exceptionally hard to choose. Sorry if, inadvertently, I have offended anyone. Everyone on Twitter is a special teacher, just by spending their time sharing and supporting.
Di Leedham; for coherence, cogent arguments, and cultural references, especially in the area of EAL, BEM, inclusion.
Tim Taylor; in many ways for being a great human being. Tim, on occasion agonises over a topic, after first well researching his background.
Jules Daulby; a lady on a mission, to embed equality of opportunity and inclusion into life. Beyond that, she’s a great go to person for current educational apps for SEND.
Andy Day; a kind humane teacher, whose length of teaching experience almost matches mine. Can be relied on to be a voice of wisdom and moderation in an argument.
Jo Baker; for regularly brightening up the end of a week with exceptional examples of children’s art work, produced through personal development of processes, under her guidance and support.
There are only 3 rules.
- You cannot knowingly include someone you work with in real life.
- You cannot list somebody that has already been named if you are already made aware of them being listed on #TwitteratiChallenge. I realise this will get more complex over time.
- You will need to copy and paste the title of this blogpost, the rules and what to do information into your own blog post.
If you would like to nominate your own list of colleagues, here’s how:
Within 7 days of being nominated by somebody else, you need to identify colleagues that you rely on or go to for support and challenge. It might be a good idea to check that they are happy to be challenged so that the #TwitterChallenge chain doesn’t break down.
Record a video announcing your acceptance of the challenge, followed by a pouring of your (chosen) drink over a glass of ice. Then, the drink is to be lifted with a ‘cheers’ before nominating your five educators to participate in the challenge. (This is optional for the technically challenged).
Write your own #TwitteratiChallenge blog post within 7 days nominating your chosen participants who then become part of #TwitteratiChallenge. If you do not have your own blog, try @Staffrm.
The educator that is now newly nominated has 7 days to compose their own #TwitteratiChallenge blog post and identify who their top 5 go to educators are.