Three years ago I created my first twitter account. A month later I had my first blog. I blogged and tweeted about being a woman, a friend, being a wife and all the ups and downs of motherhood. I blogged anonymously worried that if I dare share or show that I was an educator this kind of sharing would be severely looked down upon. Through it all, I learned the lingo, tuned my writing skills and I found passion and was awaken like I had never been before. I wrote and shared and created and wrote some more. I shared and healed parts of me that had deeply hurt for a very long time. I wrote more and shared more and woke a creative side of me I had forgotten existed. I wrote and shared and I suddenly found my voice. Most of all I found a fulfillment and a connection to others I had never known before. These experiences were (and still are) life changing.
Six months ago I hit the publish key on my first post as Carrie Baughcum Special Education teacher. I came out from behind my anonymity and shared about my classroom, my lessons, my journey as an educator. I was terrified, but excited. Sharing and reflecting about my classroom experiences filled me like never before. I shared and wrote more and more. I shared and wrote and shared and wrote some more. It felt wonderful to share this part of me. I felt invigorated and fulfilled, but I was also left with a deep yearning. I yearned to connect the same way with educators as I had with the amazing bloggers I had met on my journey.
So, after three years of blogging and six months also blogging as an educator I have come to realize this…educators do not blog or used social media like bloggers. I think there are many things that connected educators could learn from bloggers.
Here is what I think educators can learn from bloggers….
Bloggers- Come to blogs to read, to absorb, to learn about the author. They soak up each others words. More then that they reflect and really connect with the posts they read. In return for a blogger sharing their words an other blogger will share back their own reflections, insight and feelings. It is important to them to really connect with the stories and also to make sure the author know what they thought.
Sample Blogger Comments:
Educators- Visit blogs for information. They read the posts. They gather and bookmark and gather and collect their information. They come to read blogs and take in their words and stories but they leave as if they were never there.
Bloggers- Read social media streams looking for others to connect with. They are happy to reply to a tweet or Google+ post based on the information that caught their interest. Who wrote it is often unimportant.
Educators- Read and gather information.
Bloggers- Reply to tweets to them. They offer more information, ask questions to engage with each other and connect with each other through the words they share.
Sample Blogger Twitter Stream:
Educators- May politely reply a thank you but often do not offer an inquiry or work to get to know the other person any further.
Bloggers- They share. They take what they have read, what they have learned, what they felt, how they were moved and even what they didn’t like. They share their words and the words of others with others. Bloggers know that by sharing others work, words and inspirations that their words will be meaningful to others person and have an impact. It will connect them with other.
Educators- Read and gather. They may re-share information to others, but often do not add any personal thoughts, opinions or insights.
I think that educators have made their presence known in social media…It is quite amazing! They have written and shared and offered their words for others to read. They have read and gathered and learned new things from people from all over the world. They have discovered the power of words and social media to bring ideas to each other. I think it is time for educators to take the next step. It is time for them to stop just gathering and collecting. It is time for educators to share, offer words, shout out each others awesomeness. Our voices are powerful and crazy awesome. The the small gifts we give with our words connects us deeper and builds those relationships. It is time we go from connecting to information and really connecting with each other. We won’t be disappointed!