I fall somewhere in between an experienced Twitter user and a newbie. I love the connected feeling it gives me. I love that after #TMC13, there are faces and personalities and smiles to attach to the tweets (I just mistyped ‘sweets’ by accident – what a lovely Freudian slip!). I love that when I am stuck planning, or want to bounce some ideas off of someone, or am just feeling a little isolated even in the great metropolis known as Brooklyn, I can open up my Tweetdeck, and there everyone is. And since I walked myself through David Wees’ fabulous post on how to use Twitter (http://davidwees.com/content/eight-videos-help-teachers-get-started-using-twitter) about 2 weeks before Twitter Math Camp, I am getting more comfortable with just jumping right in there. I try hard to acknowledge people as often as possible, knowing how it feels to watch (or lurk behind) the conversation pinging back and forth like a badminton match.
Still, there are times that the whole process is overwhelming – I don’t know how to balance concentrating on other work – grading, planning, my LIFE, and tweet at the same time. So there have been days where I have looked longingly at the Tweetdeck icon on my dock, and forbade myself from clicking on it. I don’t know how others do it, to be honest – makes me feel a little OLD. Or just realistic.
But I have to say – there must be a connection between the fact that in the last 6 months, I attended 2 conference in which I met motivated, connected teachers from all over the country – the globe! – and have been on Twitter regularly, and that I am [thus far] having the most productive teaching year yet. I still have those dark moments in which I doubt my efficacy, but for the most part, I am aware that I am passionate and committed to my students and my craft, and that I am part of a global community with whom I have that in common.
It is ironic that I love chatting with my math tweeps even though there is a lot we don’t know about each other. And when you are ‘of a certain age’, there is a lot in your history that makes you YOU. But the vitality of the community, and the common bond we share of loving math, loving our job of teaching it [or trying to], and the motivation to do the best we can in the classroom every day is powerful. Because teaching is not just a job, we need this online support as fuel for our continual efforts.
I am grateful that I have joined in the chorus.