November 5, 2014
Twitter was new for me last year. I opened a personal account years ago, but just didn’t see what all the buzz was about. Once my district started encouraging teachers to build their PLN’s, I reluctantly created a professional account. I was a little skeptical that it would be more of a distraction and less of a genuine resource, but I’m officially convinced otherwise.
Twitter is a place for teachers to share, to learn, to grow, and to connect. Isn’t that what we want our students to do? So, out of 100,000 teachers in Michigan, I was surprised to see only 1,400 on Twitter. Well, at least 1,400 that were connected together through #MichEd. Think about that - that’s 1.4%. I read a great article on teachthought.com called, “What if Every Teacher Tweeted?” and it got me thinking about the people I’m representing this year. How will I know what you need? How will I know how I can best serve you? We need a connection.
I don’t consider myself a Techie but I understand the importance and value of using technology to connect to the rest of the world. If we expect our students to challenge themselves with technology, shouldn’t we expect that for ourselves and our colleagues? Those of you that are reading this likely already have a Twitter account so you get it. Now let’s get everyone else on board. I hope you will take my #MichEdTwitterChallenge…
I challenge you to get three co-workers to join Twitter by the end of the year and to actively engage in #MichEd by following the @michEDchat page. It doesn’t take much. I spend an average of five minutes a day, and in that short time, I find new ideas, get the most recent news in education, research the latest best practices, discover the most cutting-edge apps, and read inspirational quotes that remind me why our job is so important.
Michigan teachers are already connected, not only geographically, but also by our desire to make an impact on our students and their future. Let’s make it official. Let’s do this TOGETHER. Learn from each other. Inspire each other. Lift each other up when we are feeling down. Push each other. Make each other better. @michEDchat makes us one colossal classroom. Let’s get connected.
If you accept my challenge, send me a shout out on Twitter, @melodyarabo, using the hashtag #MichEdTwitterChallenge. Once you’ve completed the challenge, comment below and I’ll celebrate with a Tweet to my followers. Happy Tweeting!
Melody Arabo has been a third grade teacher at Keith Elementary in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District since 2002. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Teaching and Curriculum, both from Michigan State University. She has been married for over twelve years and has three children - an eight year old daughter and four year old twin boys. In 2008, she was named Keith Elementary Teacher of the Year and was first runner-up for Walled Lake's District Teacher of the Year in 2009. She was named Michigan Teacher of the Year on May 15, 2014 by State.