I joined Twitter this time last year and it has been a wonderful experience. I have found inspiration from teachers all around the world, read blogs which provide resources, teaching methodology and much more. I have shared the goings on in my classroom through #teach180 and my blog in a hope to give something back.
I find myself a little disconnected with it all lately and I finally figured out why. For the past few weeks there have been many tweets about TMC16. Before, during and after. Reading these tweets have made me sad. Despite being full of enthusiasm and passion, teaching and learning, enjoyment and ideas; they highlight how alone I often feel in the Twitter world and that I am missing out on something really special.
I follow many American teachers and this provides great learning – vocabulary and all. I was excited when I read about an Algebra 2 group being set up – we don’t have this in Scotland but I teach many of the same topics so thought I could get involved. Then I saw that a weekly chat was being scheduled – due to the time difference, it will be when I am asleep in bed. The same happens with book chats as well. Again I feel that I am missing out on something really special.
In the UK there are a few twitter chats and I do try to join in when I can. There was #mathstlp to share resources and #mathscpdchat, #mathschat and others. The problem arises when the focus turns to the English curriculum and exam system which is different to Scotland. Reading the discusions arising around these chats is interesting and again I feel that I am missing out on something really special.
When twitter chat is about resources or ideas for the classroom, I feel I am able to get involved. But when it is more specific I really feel left out. Not by the other teachers, it is not their fault that they teach different subjects, different exams, and at different times. But it does makes me wish that there was a larger presence of Scottish maths teachers on Twitter.
Reading all the blogs and tweets about TMC16 I came across this from Sam Shah
All of this is to say: for those who are interested, there are many ways to help the community. You just have to find something you love about the #MTBoS, and then come up with a way to create/share/expand it with others. (That often involves breaking the idea into smaller chunks, getting other people on board to help, and actually holding each other accountable.)
The #MTBoS doesn’t have a set of leaders. It only works because of the members. You don’t need to ask for permission. You don’t need to have been tweeting or blogging for months/years. You don’t need a “huge” project. You simply need to decide you want to do something, and do it.
So here is what I have decided to do. Rather than sitting feeling sad and left out I want to Expand the MTBoS.
I would love to have more Scottish maths teachers actively involved on Twitter. Sharing good practice and discussing the Broad General Education, National 4, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. Debating assessment, tracking and monitoring, Interdisciplinary learning, ICT and much more. It would be amazing to have a regular chat #scotMTBoS (other hashtags are available!)
Here is the important part:
My call to action to any Scottish Maths teacher:
- if you are on Twitter and would like to be involved in #scotMTBoS please get in touch with me @fractionfanatic
- try to encourage those you know who are on Twitter but don’t use it much to join in as well
- promote this in your school and region to get more Scottish maths teachers on Twitter
This could be the best CPD that we ever do. I hope that this message doesn’t get lost in the Summer holidays and I know the start of a new term is always super busy (It will be for me as I start my new PT Post) but this could be a small step towards something great.