Over the past five years, the company that I run with Scott Rocco and Billy Krakower, Evolving Educators LLC, have helped educators from around the world gain a working knowledge of what it takes to truly evolve as an educator and ultimately impact the success of students. During our various keynote speeches, featured presentations, and workshops we provide attendees with an opportunity to gain exposure to best practices that not only have helped us evolve in the physical and virtual worlds, but countless other educators from all walks of life. More importantly though, we help educators reflect on how their own evolution and plan a course of action for what is to come. The bottom line is that the "status quo" is simply not an option in today's educational world. Our work as teachers and administrators is serious business, and the only way we can help students reach their full potential is by continually enhancing our effectiveness.
The Evolve as an Educator Construct Organizer, shown above, can help educators dig deep into how they grow and impact as educators. Take some time in the near future to reflect on your evolution from past to present in both the physical and virtual worlds. Share this with others and have conversations about your findings pertaining to the various strands. There is no doubt that there will be some similarities and differences. Either way, you will gain access to new ideas and methods that will help transform your role as an educator.
Consider bringing the Evolving Educators into your school, district, or organization to support staff with their evolution as educators. We are currently offering one or half day workshops that take participants through the six evolution strands. The workshop will help participants take inventory of where they currently are as educators and more importantly where they want to be in the future. Reach out to us for more information and pricing at email@example.com.
Twitter has changed my professional career for the better. That's right. I said Twitter. Especially as a school and district leader. I actually wish Twitter was around during my teaching days. Every day I get to connect, reflect, and learn from educators on a global scale. A simple tweet of 280 characters or less, can motivate others more than you know. Whether you are sharing a resource, idea, or highlighting a learning experience that is taking place on campus, Twitter brings folks together in ways once thought unimaginable.
So how can educational leaders in PK-20 spaces hack Twitter to enhance their effectiveness? The first thing you can do is click on the image above and purchase 140 Twitter Tips for Educators. The second thing you can do is take a look at the list below which contains easy to understand examples of the various ways leaders can take their Twitter game to the next level.
There are so many things that educational leaders can do with Twitter. The list is above is just the tip of the iceberg. Now is a perfect opportunity to try Twitter. Lurk around for a few weeks, follow educators to see what they are tweeting about, and then when the time is right, compose your first tweet. Never discount the impact your tweet can have on an educator in another part of the world. Somewhere out there an educator is looking for a solution to a problem or needs to be inspired after a tough day at work. Twitter helps bring our educational community closer together and is a big reason why we live in one of the most exciting times in education.
Fortunately the world of education has many great people on Twitter. Unfortunately, there are a handful of PLN Posers that are misrepresenting who they are as an educators, taking unnecessary cheap shots at good people, and quite frankly making the vibrant educational world look bad. In our book 140 Twitter Tips for Educators, we speak to the many creative ways that educators can leverage the power of Twitter to enhance their effectiveness. On the flip side of this, there are some steps you can take so that a few bad apples don’t get in your way of enjoying the many fruits of Twitter and having a powerful PLN. Here a four ways to eliminate PLN Posers on Twitter...
1. Unfollow - Sends a message to the poser that you don’t appreciate the nonsense they are bringing to Twitter
2. Block - Completely drops the person out of your Twitter stream
3. Report - Alerts Twitter headquarters that you mean business and gives them insight on why a person should have Twitter privledges revoked
4. Mute - Drowns our a person from your Twitter feed in a nice sort of way
Simply open the Twitter app, click on settings, select your option, and the rest is history! You will have a whole new outlook on life and provide yourself with a spam free scroll of Twitter.
Don’t let a PLN Poser ruin your Twitter experience as an educator. This only impacts your effectiveness and ability to promote the success of students.
1. Jump up out of bed and go into the day with a mindset that you are going to do great things for students.
2. Take risks! When you take risks others others will follow suit. Risk-taking is contagious.
3. Have real conversations with colleagues and students. Get to know people and let them into your own world.
4. Rely on the expertise of your colleagues. Every educator has a unique skill set that can help enhance your effectiveness and address student needs.
5. Continually evolve as an educator. Look for opportunities to grow in both the physical and virtual worlds. Your students will be appreciative of these efforts.
6. Highlight student and staff achievements using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
7. Leverage the power of Google tools to drive creation, communication, and creativity.
8. Attend students’ extracurricular events. They love the support that you show and will never forget.
9. Send notes or emails of encouragement to a student and his or her parents. Put a smile on someone's face and let them know how much they are appreciated.
10. Add courses like STEM or coding to your existing offerings. Students love learning experiences that are hands-on and fun.
11. Conduct a Spotlight Assembly that recognizes students for their efforts. Byram Intermediate School in New Jersey does a great job with running this monthly program.
12. Visit your colleague's classrooms and schools to learn about new strategies. Just because you share the same hallway or office space doesn't mean you know what they are doing from an educational standpoint.
13. Hold monthly student round table meetings. Students must have a voice in decisions that ultimately effect their educational experience. This can be done at grade, team, school or district level.
14. Check in with a handful of different students each week. Just saying hello and getting some informal feedback about your class, school, or district can go a long way.
15. Conduct yearly stakeholder surveys, using a tool like Google Forms, to see how your classroom, school, or district can improve learning environments.
16. Give every student a voice in your classroom by using Flipgrid. Great way for students to share their own insight and gain perspective on important topics from their classmates.
17. Find a way to integrate recess into student's daily schedules. Movement is good for students. Stuck inside? Try using GoNoodle.
18. Take your students outside for a lesson. It's always nice to have a change of scenery.
19. Leverage the power of technology to provide students with timely feed back on assignments. There should never be surprises once a grade is given.
20. Keep parents in the know of classroom, school, or district happenings. Maintain a weekly blog and continuously update your website. It's very important to blast this information out via text, email, and push notification.
This list is a living document and will expand on a frequent basis. How are you helping students succeed? Leave your insight in the comment section. Remember to dare every student to succeed. Keep fighting the good fight!