For the last two years, Twitter has been one of my top go-to resources for free and continuous professional development, allowing me to connect, listen, and learn with other like-minded educators worldwide. Last night, I took part in a lively and thought-provoking Twitter chat on end-of-the-year planning in schools.
For those that haven’t participated in a Twitter chat (there’s a bunch listed here), you simply log into your Twitter account during the designated time of a particular chat, then search for the chat’s “hashtag;” for example #NYEDChat - the chat I was referencing in my first paragraph.
Among all the varied answers to great questions like, “what can we do to engage students when the weather gets nicer and motivation wanes?” and, “how will you recognize your students’ accomplishments?” the universal theme that resonated amongst our group was that learning is a never-ending process. We need to throw away the mentality that things "wind down" at the end of the year, and keep our students yearning for what’s to come. Culminating months are the most exciting of the year, require careful planning, and can really set the stage for a momentous summer for our students and staff.
As Twitter veteran and long-time educator Tom Whitby once put it, one of the best parts of engaging online with other educators is that the platform, the people, their positions, and their suits don’t matter when you’re sitting behind a computer screen. What matters are the ideas, and that there are always new ones out there. Let’s lead by example and bring our desire to learn and grow professionally and personally back to our schools, so we can all end the year on a resounding high note.