I saw this quote over Christmas and the words really struck a chord with me as it is one of the main reasons that I started this blog.
I work in a single form entry school without a Nursery and as the only Early Years teacher in the school it is very easy to start to feel isolated and lonely. Having previously worked in a 3, and when we had a bulge class, 4 form entry school, I knew the benefits of working in a team and bouncing ideas off one another. When a friend told me she was starting a moderation group with another school I was quick to latch on and it was one of the best things I did last year. Not only was it an opportunity to moderate our profile scores, but it also gave us a chance air our grievances and have a good nosey around each other’s settings.
Always with my iPad to hand, I documented these visits taking pictures of things I could replicate and try to persuade my Caretaker to make back in my setting. It was also useful to be able to show my Teaching Assistants these photos during team meetings and to inspire the Head Teacher with improvements that could be made.
I was inspired to create my own paint making and colour mixing area in my classroom using sugar shakers and pipettes. It has been messy, yes, but a huge hit with the children.
My wonderful Caretaker was able to replicate this two-tier tuff spot holder using cheap cuts of wood. Doesn’t it look fabulous? It is also great to put out next to the water tray.
Again, having seen a similar display during a school visit, I created my own selfie display using neutral hessian as the display backdrop. The children did self portraits on white paper using black pens and we put up black and white photographs of the children beside their pictures.
Social media is such a powerful tool. My practice has been hugely influenced and I’ve been so inspired by other teachers on Facebook. Stimulating Learning with Rachel and Early Years Ideas with Tishylishy are two of my particular favourites.
Pinterest is a also a very valuable resource – a place where you can collate all of the ideas you’ve been inspired by online. I also recently heard of a school who allow their staff to record their professional development portfolios in the form of a pinterest board. What a great idea!
Twitter is also a minefield of information. Use and look up hash tags #eyfstwitterpals, #eytalking and #kinderchat to find some highly informative discussions and to find some like minded people to follow. Just look at some of the ideas that other early years professionals have been sharing…
I’ve also gathered some super ideas for guided reading, displays and lesson planning via discussions over on Twitter….It is so important to get out of your classroom to see others practice, whether that is in an online sense, or by physically going to visit other schools. It can reaffirm what you are doing in your setting and can open your mind to other ideas and approaches. Get out there and be a magpie!
11 thoughts on “Tweeting Teachers”
Great post, Alison!
Where would we all be without each other to share ideas with?! I started teaching when there was no internet (the horror!!) & so I really appreciate how much easier it is to collaborate with others online as well as being able to visit other settings.
Loving your two-tier tuff spot holder! I’ve seen them in the educational catalogues, but never thought to set our caretaker on the task. You’ve got me thinking!! 😉
I’m off to share this on my Facebook Page – thank you so much for mentioning it (& Lisa’s)!
Thanks so much for the lovely comment Rachel. You really inspired me to start my own blog, so thank you! I actually persuaded my Caretaker to join Pinterest and now he comes to me with ideas!! Best thing ever! x
Brilliant! 😀 x
I love that your caretaker is on Pinterest – how fab.
He’s the best! 👍
Great post, Alison showing all the best reasons for teachers using social media to connect virtually even if they can’t meet physically. Though I agree the real deal is always much better. Hoping you’ll enjoy a visit to me in 2015.
Thanks so much for your comment Kierna. Would absolutely love to visit you in Feb xx
I really enjoyed reading this. You’re absolutely right, collaboration is key to developing reflection and CPD as well as the provision you offer to the children. I’m delighted you mentioned my Facebook page, thank you. I remember your Facebook message back in Oct asking about blogging – it seems such a long time ago.
I’d like to share this post if I may.
I know and I remember your response that it can take over your life if you let it, hence my ‘slow down, breathe, less is more mantra’ I put up on my Facebook page yesterday! Please do share, I’d be delighted. Thanks so much for your comment x
Love all the blogs, FB pages and of course Pinterest for inspiration. Some schools seem to have a negative view on using social media but you are a great example of the positive 🙂
Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve experienced the negativity too. Lots of people almost fearful of it, particularly Twitter!