Right now, someone is sharing your story for you.
A former student, a parent, a colleague, an administrator, a politician, a newspaper. Will you, the classroom educator be depicted as the protagonist or the antagonist in this narrative?
What happens if I add the descriptor disgruntled before each of the nouns above? How does the story of your classroom get told then? What does the narrative look like from that point of view?
Why, as educators, do we allow others to tell our stories without offer a first person point of view tale? Our classroom walls can’t talk for us, and some of our students never converse with anyone other than us about their educations, so who is the author of our story? And should it really be anyone other than ourselves? Amongst all the readily accessible third person point of view posts, shouldn’t our first person narrative be coming out loud and clear alongside these other versions?
Social media has made it very easy for our stories to get told. They are being told, in fact, daily. These narratives start long before the first day of school even arrives. Parents and students jump online to share who their teachers are for the year and their feelings, fears, and excitement about this assignment. Is your narrative present amongst this chatter?
Are you sharing room preparation photos, your summer learning, plans you’ve made for your students, your excitement about the upcoming school year? Are you snapping pics, tweeting quotes, participating in chats on Twitter, and enjoying time with PLNs online? If so, share your story!
Pick any social media platform to get started. I chose to use Twitter, and this is my dedicated social media platform for all things educationally related. I post pics of students, with permission to be published, working in their classrooms, I share tweets showcasing the PD I am offer and new strategies we are implementing in our buildings, I participate in teacher chats using a common hashtag, and I share all the awesome events and opportunities we are giving our students.
Parents want to be involved in their student’s learning. However, realistically most are working during the day and can’t come and join their students, or at the middle school age their child may very well chose not to invite them in the first place, or demand that they don’t come because “NO ONE’s parents come to events at the middle school!” (Note to parents: This is not true. Your teenager is just testing you and really wants you there.)
Sharing information on social media is the easiest, quickest way of ensuring your information has an audience. Parents and students are on smart phones and so are social media apps. Need to share an assignment… why not use Remind to share with students in your class and parents alike? Want to communicate an important school wide event…why not share your post on Twitter and/or Facebook? Want to share your classes experiences, thoughts, and reflections on the school year and their learning… why not publish a class blog for the whole world to read?
Consider yourself the expert on your classroom. Who should be writing the manual, you or the person who is a self-titled expert because they once attended a school when they were a child? Consider your day today. What would you want a parent to know about their child’s day in your classroom? What learning took place? What obstacles did your students overcome? What achievements were had? How was learning fun?
Think about these things, and then take a leap of faith and post it for an audience to enjoy, learn from, or another educator to take back to their classroom, tweak, and make it their own. I happen to think that educators are pretty awesome people, who do amazing things for their learners (including coming to school dressed as dominoes and crayons) Share your spirit! Share your story!