I’ll never forget the first time I realized the power of participating on Twitter.   I was attending a national conference for professional development and had signed up for a session with a fairly well known presenter.  I got to the room early so that I could grab the perfect seat – not so close to the front of the room that I would appear too eager but definitely not at the back of the room.  And of course – somewhere near a power source.

The presenter was moving around the room passing out materials, said “good morning” to me as he was at my table and continued on to the other tables.  About five minutes later he circled back.

“Are you Theresa Gray?”

I looked around the room to be sure he was talking to me.  “Yes I am, “ I responded a just a little bit nervous.

“Well we are friends on Twitter.  I knew I recognized your face.  How are those Sabres doing?”

I was absolutely shocked.  I never thought I would meet most of the people that I followed and followed me back on Twitter.  I certainly never thought that they would remember my face or my favorite hockey team.  But here it was.

“Hey – if you are going to tweet during the session today, just me sure you quote me correctly!”  He smiled and moved on to greet the other participants.  I felt a little bit like I had just met my favorite professional hockey player and made sure I tweeted accurately.

From that moment on – I no longer became shy on Twitter.  I saw the real power of connection and followed authors, experts in education, teachers and administrators who shared their work and resources.  I jumped into Twitter chats and shared my resources and learned even more, eventually able to connect with other people I thought I might never meet as I visited their city or they mine.  

If you have been hesitant about joining our #plpnetwork Twitter chats on Saturday mornings, let me give you five reasons why you should jump in:

  1. We will be discussing a topic that interests you.  Powerful Learning Practice prides itself in providing “just in time” support – and Twitter chats are one way we are able to do that.  Our team works in schools, side by side with educators, and we know the areas that you want to learn more about.  
  2. Learn from experts. Those experts are YOU!  Twitter chats attract a large number of educators and who better to talk about current issues and share around hard topics than with a world full of colleagues!
  3. Get new ideas and resources.  There is rarely a chat that I participate in where I don’t have a list of at least five things to implement, books to buy or ideas to reflect on later. And in sharing your ideas and resources, others will give you feedback and new ideas to build upon. 
  4. Build your PLN.  Once you participate in a chat, you will find people whose ideas you love and want to connect further.  Follow them.  You will also find people who think differently than you do.  Follow them.  We have so much to learn from each other and Twitter will help you build that personal learning network.
  5. The learning continues after the chat.  Once you start to build who you follow and who follows you, you will be amazed at the resources that you have access to.  And of course, we bring those quick, rapid fire conversations back to the PLP Hub to dig deeper and create solutions within the community.

Twitter chats can seem intimidating but I promise they are worth the risk.  Join me and the PLP Team on our Twitter chats Saturday mornings at 9 am EST.  

PS. Oh! I almost forgot the best part. If you sign-up in advance then you become eligible for prizes, freebies, and dowloadables you can use right away. Resources that will have instant impact. http://bit.ly/plpnetwork

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Theresa Gray

Theresa is a Community Leader and Leadership Coach For Powerful Learning Practice who counts education as her second and true career. After practicing as an attorney for a short time, she knew she could make a bigger impact teaching and started her career co-teaching middle level Social Studies. She then moved on to facilitate professional learning regionally and earned her M. Ed. In Educational Leadership and has her permanent certification in School District Leadership in NYS. Most recently she has served as an Assistant Superintendent for a small city school district where she supported the implementation of 1:1 technology, developed and implemented school improvement plans and created professional learning communities in several areas including curriculum, student support and parent/family engagement. She is passionate about supporting leaders in all positions and in engaging students in authentic learning.
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