Back in 2011 I was an Instructional Coach looking to connect with other coaches in order to grow my own skills. I had participated in a few Twitter chats and was beginning to realize I may have landed on a tool to meet other instructional coaches and learn with and from them. I had experience connecting with educators back in the late 1990’s through chats at Teachers.net which revolutionized my teaching. Since I couldn’t find a chat devoted to Instructional Coaches, I invented one with two other educators (@principalj and @shiraleibowitz) with a passion for coaching. #Educoach officially launched on July 27, 2011. It is hard to believe we will be turning FOUR this summer! TWITTER MAGIC!
Twitter chats are one vehicle to develop a network of job-alike individuals. Each person adds a variety of perspectives and experiences. I marvel at the great work that is happening in the field of coaching and know coaches need time to lean on each other, learn together and grow.
If you are new to Twitter chats here are a few resources to check out:
- How Do You Participate in a Twitter Chat by @ReadByExample
- A Quick Start Guide to Participating in a Twitter Chat by @thomascmurray
- Participating in a Twitter Chat by @alicekeeler
- Twitter Cheat Sheet by @tysonkimberly
Many Twitter newbies comment on the “randomness” of the tweets. This is a very common feeling. Moderators will typically use the Q1/A1 format. The moderator will ask questions using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc… and chat participants may respond with A1 (answer 1), etc… It is certainly okay to add to the chat without using A1, A2, A3, etc… But this system will help you see the flow of the chat.
Remember that you do not need to respond to everything tweeted. In fact, for your first few chats you may just want to sit back and lurk. But, I encourage you to jump into the conversation when you are comfortable as that is when the magic happens!
Look for a tweet (comment) that stands out to you. Click on reply and respond back to that person. You may want to show your agreement to something they said or ask them a question. You may have something to add to their thought. You will get much more from Twitter chats if you engage with someone. Many lasting connections have been made through Twitter and Twitter chats. One idea leads to another. Some participants find people to communicate with outside Twitter/chats. They share resources and develop lasting friendships. The more active you are, the more likely you will find deeper connections.
I have experienced my share of Twitter Magic! I have had focused, personal conversation with authors I admire. I have connected with amazing educators all around the globe. I have had the opportunity to meet many twitter friends and authors face-to-face at conferences or #edcamps. I have worked on virtual projects and have been coached and mentored by so many. I have started my own education consulting business (Learning is Growing) focused on instructional coaching and leadership team development. The honor of hosting the upcoming #ILAchat for The International Literacy Association (formally The International Reading Association) on February 12, 2015 will be yet another magical experience! JOIN US!
Take the plunge! Participate in a Twitter Chat! FIND THE MAGIC!
Tweeps – share your magic! Inspire a newbie!