Don’t you think that Twitter is the best staffroom ever? So TRUE!

Guest Blogger Tess Maths @tessmaths

The wonderful thing about Twitter…..is Twitter’s a wonderful thing…

I have to admit I was Twitter-phobic to start with. I hadn’t got the time…it’s not my thing….it’s a gimmick…I had real friends, not followers…the idea that students and SLT could contact you 24/7; I didn’t think I needed Twitter…how stupid was I!

I don’t do Faceache; nor snapchat; nor What’s App. But I do Tweet. A lot – today is the day of 4,000 tweets, following 400 and hoping to reach the heady heights of 500 followers very soon…maybe as a result of this blog post, hint hint 🙂

As a Tweep the first thing I do in the morning, after grabbing a cup of tea, is to check Twitter to see what’s occurring, to coin a phrase. Catching up on the fun stuff, looking for links to interesting articles which may slightly alter what I have planned for classroom activities because it may be more relevant, finding interesting blogs, retweeting GCSE maths exam tips, posing a few questions of others – all before 7am!

 

The Grandmasters of Maths have meant that Twitter has become addictive for me. The chats are incredibly constructive – an hour of CPD is simply better than any course I have been on; Twitter is officially the best maths staffroom ever…the fact that teachers want to get together to create a collective SOW for the new maths GCSE is just a brilliantly thought through, useful and creative use of Twitter.I am constantly reading, picking up resources and snapping pictures to put onto Edmodo for students. I retweet maths questions for others. Even the staff and parents join in to answer them.

But the beauty is it is not maths specific…I pick up so many ideas from the very best teachers and these are easily adaptable and transferable.
Here are some cracking examples of Twitter exchange in the past week alone…

Half term Interchanges
How brilliant was this one…Ive been pushing a few of our 6th formers to consider Writtle College. One had an interview in half term that I knew nothing about but he dm’d me to ask what he should wear…I was able to give him a lift and I also managed to remind him to have a shower, shave and brush his teeth! I don’t think any of my teachers had ever said that to me…

Transcript:
Dean: What would be the correct clothing for Writtle College tomorrow?
Tessmaths: Smart casual – what time are you there?
Dean: 9.30
Tessmaths: Do you want a lift – I am there for a meeting at 9.30 too!
Dean: That would be fantastic – thank you
Tessmaths: Meet you at 8.15 – don’t forget to have a shower, wash your hair and brush your teeth!!!

And here’s another keen student…

Chloe: Have done me revision for science and done my maths work as well I’m really proud of self I pushed my self out of my comfort zone gooo mmee
Tessmaths: You are officially a superstar
Chloe: Thank you Mrs it wouldn’t be with out you your the best maths teacher I ever had for maths and I done my fitness as well for pe
Tessmaths: Yea….gooooo mmeeeeee then too!

Benefits?
It’s not maths specific…the Twitterati share so many ideas and resources; planning something then ask Tweeps for ideas and suggestions and you will be inundated.
You get a heads up on students that are ill…have worries or something else is going on outside school that has an influence. You make connections with your students when they post a picture of a favourite horse…or snake…or geeko…or lego model. You can celebrate students doing something right in the classroom through a tweeted photo which is viewed instantly by parents, your own colleagues

Drawbacks?
Not everyone, staff and students is as keen as I. You cannot force people to join in…they have to find the value for themselves. But success builds success.
Your school policy may not allow this form of interaction.
There are a number of infamous spats on Twitter which you can find yourself drawn into.
Adverts and sellers too are an issue….

Don’t just take my word for it…try it for yourself. I shall leave you with this interchange which made me howl with laughter…

Alice: I’m sick of laying in bed with this pain wish it will go away for Wednesday
Tessmaths: poor old you (well not that old)! Take it easy & do some maths – take your mind off it – have a look at studymaths.co.uk
Alice: no
Tessmaths: well, that told me then…ha ha…good to have you back Alice


Categorised as: CPD | Social Networks | Twitter



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