When is it Okay to be a Taker?

The old adage states, “Tis better to give than to receive.” Yes, true around the holidays. I’m not much one for getting gifts, I have more than I could have dreamed possible. Happy marriage, healthy kids, fulfilling job, faithful friends… In my personal life, I like to think I’m a giver.

My twitter life is an entirely different story. I’m a bonafide TAKER. There has been much discussion and sharing around this idea on MTBoS (Math Twitter Blog O’Sphere). A respected twitter colleague of mine, @approx_normal blogged about it here. I really enjoyed her thoughts and wanted to add some of my own.

Twitter has been an amazing PD vehicle for me. I have learned more about pedagogy this past year on twitter than in my previous 22 years of teaching. I’ve joined several book studies in which teachers discuss books via twitter posts. I have read blogs from amazing teachers who generously share their materials. I’ve connected with math pedagogy “rock stars” and the authors of books we are reading and discussing (thanks @daveburgess, of Teach Like a Pirate fame). But, I am a taker.

Not only am I a taker, but a buttinski as well. I have taken far more knowledge from my twitter pals than I have given. I have joined twitter conversations that I haven’t been directly invited to join. That’s okay. I want to be a great teacher. From reading and discussing Teach Like a Pirate (by Dave Burgess) and Embedded Formative Assessment (by Dylan Wiliam), I must to be great. Our students need their teachers to be great. Much has been written about the single biggest influence on student achievement is teacher quality.

What I take from twitter, I give to my students in the hope that I can help them achieve and succeed at the their very highest level. Thank you, wonderful twitter colleagues for sharing your skills with my students. Your expertise is making a difference in not only your classrooms but countless other classrooms around the globe. Wow, that is amazing. So, I’m going to keep taking and butting in (as I know you want me to do!!!). However, I promise to give your knowledge to my students and to my building colleagues.

Okay, I do give a little on twitter. I started #statschat for AP Stats teachers. I will share my iBooks Author AP Stats ebook with anyone who wants to see it. I’m going to contribute to “Walk the Plank Wednesdays”, a start-up idea from #tlapmath.

Thank you, dear twitter friends.

Julie @jkindred13

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