I have recently had a few conversations with amazing educators who feel uneasy about sharing their powerful work with others. What a loss for the rest of us!! This is an excerpt from a chapter I wrote for 140 Twitter Tips for Educators by Brad Currie, Scott Rocco, and Billy Krakower. It is tip 127 in the book…and now I can just tell you to remember “127” whenever you are reluctant to share, whether on Twitter or anywhere else!
To thrive on Twitter and to use this game-changing platform to positively impact the educational landscape, educators must overcome two primary obstacles.
The first is the belief that their ideas are either not worthy of sharing or not unique enough to warrant adding into the conversation. This is a false belief! You have amazing ideas and experiences that are unique to you and your path as an educator. And what you have to add to the conversation may be exactly what someone needs to hear. Share everything! The things that were successful as well as all the stuff that didn’t work! You may help others…or save them from making the mistakes you’ve made.
I constantly hear teachers say, “I’m sure everyone does this.” No! They don’t!
Even if your idea is not new, you have probably put a personalized spin on it. Others can build on your idea to create something powerful for themselves. Furthermore, if you share something in a chat that others already know or do, that doesn’t annoy people; it validates their practices and experiences. By talking about an idea they’re trying to implement, you reinforce their belief in the soundness of the practice. You’ll also encourage those who may be under fire for trying something innovative. Hearing your experiences raises their confidence and enables them to continue to fight the good fight.
The second obstacle is the insidious belief that sharing your thoughts, ideas, and what has been successful for you is somehow selfish or egotistical.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The vast majority of educators on Twitter are there to collaborate, share, and support fellow educators with the ultimate goal of making school a more empowering place for all. We don’t just want you to share your amazing work…we need you to share it. It is, in fact, your responsibility to share what you know that could help others.
There is nothing selfish or egotistical about becoming a valuable member of the educational Twittersphere. If a person collapsed at a crowded party and stopped breathing and you knew CPR, would it be selfish to let it be known loudly and in no uncertain terms that you could help? Of course not! Would anybody think you were being egotistical if you even aggressively pushed your way to the front in order to save the victim? No way! You would be celebrated as a hero.
Our purpose as educators is just as mighty! We change lives. We literally save lives. We need your contributions. We need you to share your special perspective and to add your voice to this ongoing discussion centered on transforming the world into a better place. We are so glad you’re here!
PS: 140 Twitter Tips for Educators is for ANYONE looking to get connected and build a professional learning network. Even if you’ve never been on Twitter or you are a highly experienced user, there is something for YOU!