One of the most important pieces of advice I would give to anyone in my shoes 6 months ago would be to get on Twitter and follow everyone and anyone in the education sphere.
Due to the likes of your @MissNQT who tweets everything from reminders that we’re all drowning in marking to whizzy ideas and activities to your seasoned pros, I have learned more from Twitter than I have from my in-school CPD sessions. This is not because the CPD I receive is in any way flawed but it is because I can flick through Twitter at any time of any day. Waiting for a train? Get some marking tips from Twitter. Spare five minutes at lunch? Grab a new behaviour technique from Twitter. Coronation Street’s a bit dull tonight? Get involved in #ukedchat, #BehaviourChat or #NQTUK chat on Twitter (etc…there are loads..).
We typically scurry away and blindly fall into the traps of not scaffolding … or wallowing in a vicious cycle of chaotic lessons…
As a newbie to the profession, being able to do the technological equivalent of earwigging into HOD and SLT conversations have taught me a lot and have triggered a lot of reflection into my own practice. As we all know, Twitter is typically a place for sharing strong opinions and forming debates. This is no different in the education corner. Newbies are fed a diet of “Yay for group work! Yay for peer assessment! Behaviour will be perfect in engaging lessons!” and we typically scurry away and blindly fall into the traps of not scaffolding each of the first two enough or wallowing in a vicious cycle of chaotic lessons due to the third. However, Twitter has shown me that either a) experienced teachers struggle with things like behaviour just as much as newbies or b) with a few quick tips pinched from Twitter, things can be a lot easier.
I started my interest in the education sphere as merely a spectator and I largely remain that way because I am still in that sponge-phase of just wanting to know everything and anything there is to know. Therefore, fellow newbies, don’t feel obliged to give as much as you take from Twitter. However, if you do start earwigging, eventually say “hi”! You never know what you could learn from a quick 3 tweet convo with a pro or by throwing your 2p into one of the weekly “chats” that go on.
The truest words I have heard from a university mentor is that learning to teach is all about stealing. Steal other people’s ideas and then play around with them to fit your own classes. In this respect, Twitter is an idea thief’s dream!
This is a re-blog post originally posted by Miss Trainee and published with kind permission.
At the time of writing, Miss Trainee was a First-Year Teach First English Trainee. Sharing personal musings and absorbing knowledge from anyone and everyone. The article was originally published in 2015, and updated in 2019 by UKEd Editorial in accordance with website policy and upgrade changes.
The original post can be found here.