Teachwire Logo

8 Things Teachers Need to Know About Using Twitter for CPD

Social media isn’t just great for sharing photos of your cat, as teacher Sophie Bartlett explains...

  • 8 Things Teachers Need to Know About Using Twitter for CPD

1 | Separate accounts

Twitter seemed pretty pointless to me when I first joined; I aimlessly followed a few random celebrities and tweeted every four or so days about my gourmet-style microwave dinner.

If you are going to use Twitter in a professional capacity, make a separate account from your personal one: when scrolling through edu-Twitter for some inspiration, nobody wants to see endless retweets of Game of Thrones memes.

2 | Join in on chats

Another easy way to get involved is joining in on Twitter ‘chats’. A popular one for primary teachers is #PrimaryRocks, which is held every Monday at 8pm. Follow the account @primaryrocks1 to find a list of four questions that will be discussed each week – a variety of topics are covered.

Lots of teachers get involved in this, so it’s a great way to get networking, learn new things and share your own ideas.

3 | Unlock your account

As long as your account is completely professional, there’s no reason for it to be private. If it is ‘unlocked’, more people can see your tweets. The more people you can connect with, the more you will get back from using Twitter.

When I first started, I was in an echo chamber; however, following and being followed by new people with different experiences and opinions to me has encouraged me to be particularly reflective and even change my stance on various edu-related issues.

4 | Courses and networking

I have been on five Twitter-organised CPD days over the last two years – and all of them have been brilliant. Unlike training days as we know them, these are organised by teachers and, more often than not, feature presenters that are practising teachers themselves.

They are fantastic value for money, a great way to network and a good opportunity to meet like-minded people.

5 | Get stuck in

The more you put yourself out there in the Twitter community, the more you will get out of it. Reply to as many tweets as you can that interest you. Retweet ideas that have inspired you or tweets with which you agree (or even disagree!).

There are many lists of top primary tweeters to follow – find one, follow as many as you like and start scrolling!

6 | Refine your bio

There are so many brilliant educators out there that it’s hard to know who to follow. If you want to connect with teachers who have similar responsibilities to you, it’s much easier when it’s made clear in their Twitter bio.

Equally, keep yours related directly to your teaching responsibilities so other ‘tweachers’ can find you.

7 | What’s mine is yours

You’ve scoured all the teaching resource websites you can think of, yet still can’t find what you’re looking for? Twitter is your answer! Whatever you’re looking for or thinking of, someone on Twitter has already made it, done it, or is looking for it too.

The majority of the edu-Twitter community are more than happy to offer advice or share their work, and if you’ve created anything yourself, it’s a great platform to return the favour.

8 | Stay professional

This probably goes without saying, but remember that everything you post online should reflect you as a teacher.

Teachers are passionate and highly self-critical by nature: putting yourself ‘out there’ is quite scary, especially as there will be people who disagree with or criticise you – just remember to react online exactly as you would in person.

If you post pictures of work or displays, make sure any names or faces of children are removed – although more importantly, make sure you adhere to your school’s social media policy.

Sophie Bartlett is a Y6 teacher in an English primary school. Find her at missiebee1.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter at @_missiebee.

Sign up here for your free Brilliant Teacher Box Set

Looking for creative ways to tackle SLCN?

Find out more here >