I first wrote this blog post way back in 2013. Fast forward five years to the present and this issue still persists. Those who spin a negative light, particularly on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, claim they are "challenging" others to think differently. What they are doing in fact is turning a positive conversation into a negative. Personally, I do not need to have my thinking challenged in a negative way by some knucklehead agitator. Don't get me wrong, I love to think differently about important issues in education. But I don't force feed my thoughts onto others with curt tweets.
On the flip side of this issue, I do appreciate people holding each other accountable. For instance, there a few educators out there that are phonies and people are calling them out on social media. This absolutely needs to happen because I feel, along with many others, that they are giving educators as a whole a bad name. If you are going to call someone out, make sure that you have the basis to do so.
Here is my post from 2013...
Recently I have been seeing a “negative tone” trend on Twitter towards myself and other like-minded educators. Not sure as to the reasons why, but it has raised an eye brow or two on my end. Over the past year and a half on Twitter I have been exposed to an amazing amount of positive and enlightening ideas related to best practices in the school setting. I have made thousands of connections and participated in so many positive conversations that it truly has changed me for the better. So many wonderful opportunities have arisen because of my connections on Twitter such as #Satchat, speaking engagements, blog posts, conversing with lead learners, and most importantly being exposed to innovative ideas that will impact my students.
So why the recent negative tone on Twitter and in the blogging world? Not sure. Maybe a few educators are fed up with state mandates, evaluation reform, budget cuts, standardized testing, outside interests, or what some perceive as a negative outlook on the teaching profession. The fact of the matter is this, we all need to continue to be the positive force behind effective change and providing students with a innovative learning environment. The only way this happens is if we continue to share great ideas and resources with the hope of promoting the success of all students. Don’t get me wrong, we all need to challenge each other’s thinking from time to time. But to do so in a way that only incorporates negativity and a lack of solutions doesn’t help anyone.
In closing, the only way we can combat negativity is with positive solutions. Somebody once told me in a similar situation to just “kill them with kindness.” Educators on Twitter often share ideas or have conversations with best intentions in mind. And yes we realize that sometimes these initiatives can not be implemented whole heartedly due to the current climate that we are apart of. The fact remains is that we need to keep on sharing and moving the conversation forward as it relates to what’s best for kids. Let’s leave the negativity behind and think before we press “tweet.” For me, Twitter has been a “breath of fresh air” and has allowed all educators to thrive in so many influential ways. Let’s keep fighting the good fight and keep the “negative nelly” personas locked away in a box.