This week on @Edutweetoz we celebrate World Teachers’ Day 2014

This week the admin team (@corisel, @dbatty1 and @poppyshel) will be running the @Edutweetoz account. This is happening for a number of reasons; it’s hard to find people to host during the school holidays, it’s good for us to get a feel for what the account’s like these days (it’s a lot bigger than it was when we started) and because it’s the week leading up to World Teachers’ Day and we felt like this was a good opportunity to revisit the vision of @Edutweetoz and think about what it might become. To make sure you know who’s tweeting, we don’t want to be anonymous, we’ll sign off with our initials, @corisel=CC, @dbatty1=DB, @poppyshel=MH.

We love the theme of World Teachers’ Day ‘Invest in the future, invest in teachers’ as it resonates well with the reasons we had for starting @Edutweetoz in April 2013. Our vision for @EduTweetOz was to build a platform through which Australian educators could share what education meant for them, to share their practice, to build a sense of the variety of education practices around Australia and to provide a vehicle through which the broader Australian community might get a sense of what it means to be an educator in Australia today. We saw @Edutweetoz as a way of connecting the community to the reality of education, beyond the particular talking points selected by the media and politicians to support their agenda with regards to specific issues. You can find out more about the background of @Edutweetoz here.

It has been a wonderful journey so far, seeing how many people have engaged with the account, have volunteered to host, have shared honestly their experiences, successes and challenges and the positive and supportive community that has developed. Often teachers new to twitter are referred to @Edutweetoz as a way of building their PLN and making connections with other educators, because it’s not ‘owned’ by any one educator it can be a good jumping off point for starting conversations and joining in with discussions. The community continues to grow and continues to be a really positive space for Australian educators, a reflection of the supportive network of educators out there striving to do the best for both their students and for the system as a whole.

We are wondering if this account might provide a forum or resource for supporting educators in other ways and would love your feedback on what this might look like. Is there something we could do beyond the twitter handle? How else might we build community, learn from each other and extend these connections? To that end, we’ve developed a survey to get a sense of what you, the @Edutweetoz community, see as the purpose of this account. We don’t want to do anything that the community doesn’t see as being of value. You can access the survey here, it will be open for the next 2 weeks. We really appreciate you taking the time to complete it, it should take less than 5 minutes.

This week we’re hoping to explore a few of themes with everyone, linked to the World Teachers’ Day prompt. The hashtags we’ll be using will be #whyIteach, #whatteachersdo and #teacherwellbeing. We’d love to use the week to get a sense of what the reality is for teachers today, why do we do what we do, what does that look like and how do we take care of ourselves? It’s our belief that the community, and our politicians, may not have the most accurate sense of what it means to be a teacher in Australia at the moment and we want to share our passion and commitment to the profession with them.

We can’t wait to dive into the community discussions and are really looking forward to connecting with all the new followers (there’s about 3000 new followers since I last hosted the account, eek!). Thank you for all your support and pop by and say hi!

(As an aside, you can sign up here to host the account yourself – we want to hear from all of you!)

Michelle

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