How do you know what you don’t know and then create a PD experience for yourself?
This was me about 6 months ago. I have had a Twitter account since 2008 but never really used it until recently. Why? Because I wasn’t all that interested in tweeting out stuff I am doing. It just didn’t make sense to me because I thought who really cared about what I had to say about what I was doing. I followed a few folks that I knew but wasn’t really engaged. I wasn’t engaged because it wasn’t really stimulating conversation. So, I let it go.
I admit that I thought a lot about Tweeting, blogging, websites, Skyping, and more for the past four years but I always had something else better to do. I was really good at technology – sorry, had to say it – and the folks I worked with always had questions to ask and sought my opinion. What held me back? Me. Plain and simple. I found too many barriers to keep me from getting outside the classroom and into the social media and networking sphere.
Conversations always seem to draw thoughts out of me into the blog. Last Friday I had a conversation with John Schinker, technology director for the Brecksville-Broadview Heights Schools, about the use of Twitter and how it has transformed my thinking and professional development. We both admitted that we weren’t really big Tweeps since Twitter started up largely because of the notion of what it really meant to tweet.
The very first concept I had to deal with was how I was going to get up to speed with what is happening in education as the fast pace of Twitter, blogs, and ideas were running rampant. Who do I follow? How do I keep up? Should or should I not blog? Why blog because there are so many out there blogging already? Do I need a website and a blog? What are the big trends in education, and how do I get to know them? These were the questions giving me an upper cut to the brain and it was mind boggling.
How did I get to the point where I am at now?
It was FRUSTRATING and IRRITATING! I had decided to jump into, two feet by the way, the stream of Twitter feeling like a little kid who had just moved into a new school with no friends, no direction, and no goals. I recall feel overwhelmed yet mesmerized by the amount of information flowing through the education hashtags. As I began, I was hesitant to say anything for I didn’t want to sound like a complete tool in Twitter, so I just
followed some people and saw what they were doing. That was probably one of the best things I could have done but didn’t know it at the time. So, after following and seeing what it was all about, I typed out a tweet I felt was important but hit send too soon because I didn’t spell some words right and it didn’t make sense. Twitter jitters got the best of me. I was mad at myself at first because I wanted to make a good impression but then thought, “Who the heck even knows I am here?” I pressed on for months feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by the fact that I was having so much trouble learning how to be a good Twitter’er.
Have patience, you are just getting started and no one knows who you are here but they will eventually – I told myself this repeatedly.
Have, or do you feel the same way I did when you got started?