Sunday Summary: 1/27-2/1 #slowchatED Topic: EduCelebs/All-Stars and how to share and care

Educelebs was a fringe topic for our first #slowchatED, to say the least. I was worried that people who have no “take” on the subject wouldn’t want to join AND I was worried that those so-called EDUcelebs wouldn’t want to touch this topic with a ten foot pole. (Or perhaps they are too busy being #eduAwesome to notice) But I did it anyways for two reasons:

  • Not a bad idea for our first chat to be a smaller one, especially since I had committed myself to writing a summary of the week.
  • I really wanted to learn more about this topic and the best way to learn is to get out of my own head and see what OTHERS think about the subject.

Why did I want to learn more?

 

Well it’s been in my head ever since last school year. I had a friend, a really nice friend, who deeply cares about kids who happens to get stuff done. And by get stuff done I mean he runs for city council (didn’t make it) writes books, writes magazine articles, has interacted with nationally known coaches etc… This teacher has had the “shameless self-promoter” tag thrown at his back WAY too often. It really P($$3$ me off: seriously. If you don’t like his approach, go talk to him, otherwise you are just using his lifestyle as a way to combat boredom and to “bond” over gossip and the age-old American pass time of celeb building/tearing down. I think this is something that America loves, it’s a part of our illusion of democracy. That every one of us had a part in building the fame of someone just by being a fan or audience and therefore the fame rests, in part or whole, on our approval of said celebrity’s actions. It’s silly at best and evil at worst.

Additionally, I’ve had the same accusations leveled at me since the first day I showed up at my high school. I became the WASC coordinator in year two (not my choice, do you really say no to your principal when they ask you something at the end of your first year?) No one else wanted the job, seriously no one. Can you imagine what it was like for a first year teacher to try and get a staff of 125+ teachers behind you on a task no one loves? Combine that with wearing a tie- and I was labeled a “climber” from day one: I’m still in the classroom in year nineteen and still hearing the same “self-promoter” “climber” comments.

Now I’m more than aware that I step over the line in how I shade my accomplishments, my wife gently reminds me of this line from time to time and I’m grateful for her honesty with me. So when Karl Lindgren-Streicher wrote this blog post:

Branding in Education

Some of what he said hit home. Karl and I have disagreed at times to approaches on #edcampHOME. There have been times where I have brought up sharing a press release with newspapers and other media and Karl did that yuck face. My point was the concept is cool and I don’t think every principal or superintendent is following Twitter so the only way they learn how to transform PD is by reading the Sunday paper, but he felt that we are doing this for us not for others. I love Karl and trusted his judgement on this so we didn’t do any press releases. So when I read his post it made me feel that maybe he was talking to me.

I wasn’t alone:

Was it Me? by Jennifer Klozcko. Jennifer thought it might be her to, then there was this post.

No More Rock Stars by Michelle Baldwin (PS there are 31 comments to her post. I never get 31 comments, must have touched a nerve)

Maybe this topic hits a nerve with others… cool, let’s do this.

Here are the questions from the chat:

Monday: Q1: What are the benefits and concerns with people being branded as Rockstars, DEN Stars, Ninjas and EDUFamous & other teachers not being labeled and branded? #slowchated

Tuesday: Q2: Why do some of us have a problem with people “selling-out”/moving-up/”climbing”  bands, teachers, companies etc What do we mean when we use this label? #slowchatED

Wednesday: Q3:  Where do you draw the line between shameless promotion and sharing? Why are some people accused of being “self-promoters” or “fame seekers?” #slowchatED

Thursday: Q4: What are good reasons for gaining followers & how do we do this w/ a spirit of humility & not develop a “status” hierarchy? #slowchatED

Friday: Q5: Do EDUs need to do a better job of sharing failures? How? Are people really sharing failures or “Failure= AWESOME success? #slowchatED

Saturday Q6: Are we creating a climate where Teachers are reluctant to share if they are not being #eduAwesome #slowchatED

Here is the initial and complete Storify archive of the entire #slowchatED it’s about 550+ tweets:

Here is an edited version of our #slowchatED that “only” has my favorite 250 tweets, it takes about 5-10 minutes to read I’m going to try and embed it later today.

Okay Superbowl stuff is DONE. Here we go. My top Tweets for each Q are:

Q1: What are the benefits and concerns with people being branded as Rockstars, DEN Stars, Ninjas and EDUFamous & other teachers not being labeled and branded?

A1a

A1b

Q2: Why do some of us have a problem with people “selling-out”/moving-up/”climbing”  bands, teachers, companies etc What do we mean when we use this label? #slowchatED

Besides the great read I LOVE this post because it’s something that can only happen during a slow Twitter Chat. I’ve never seen someone able to write and finish a blog post during the middle of a Twitter chat (maybe Alice Keeler has- I wouldn’t put it past her)

Nick reminding us to be positive in how we deal with our perceptions.

Q3: Where do you draw the line between shameless promotion and sharing? Why are some people accused of being “self-promoters” or “fame seekers?

A3a

I really love that I’m seeing new voices in this chat.

A3b

A3c

Q4: What are good reasons for gaining followers & how do we do this w/ a spirit of humility & not develop a “status” hierarchy?

A4a

A4b

A4Greg

Q5: Do EDUs need to do a better job of sharing failures? How? Are people really sharing failures or “Failure= AWESOME success?

A5a

Q6: Are we creating a climate where Teachers are reluctant to share if they are not being #eduAwesome

A6a

Conclusions: 

Conclusion 2

1. Whether you are new to teaching or social media you CAN provide value. If you are getting more popular on SM or at your school site what is the VALUE you are providing others besides your reputation?

Conclusion 3

I tell others that questions are where thinking starts and answers are where thinking ends. I think I need to have more questions in my sharing. I don’t have all the answers and I need to allow others to provide value to me.

Conclusion 4

3. Our lives and our sharing isn’t perfect. We lead messy lives, if not for ourselves then sometimes we leave messes for others. Everyone does what they do for a reason. Go ahead and ask them why they do what they do. Why they over share, why the autoTweet, why they don’t follow back: either you will learn to live in their shoes or you will dislike their answer or lack of an answer- either way you will know and then can act on knowledge instead of assumptions. Life is worth fighting for- engaging others when we might be scared to, is messy but necessary.

Instead of calling people “self-promoters” behind their back why don’t you just ask them why they share so often, or why they are promoting their book. It’s okay… go ahead and ask- and be nice about it please.

Conclusion

4. Listen. Remember we have two ears and one mouth. It’s okay to just listen and think about things w/o having a “Take” on everything.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in this week’s #slowchatED starting tomorrow put the #slowchatED hashtag in the search box of Twitter and read, listen, then participate if you want. We will be there, waiting.

Lastly: 

There was one more Tweet that I loved and I want to embed it here because I want the link to be clickable, but it spawned a ton of responses so I’m putting it down here:

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2 comments

  1. Haven’t had much time lately to engage as much as I’d like, but wanted to say slow chat looks like a good idea and this is a topic worth discussing. I can understand the discomfort or distaste regarding self-promotion, but I would also have to admit my own reactions are inconsistent. It bothers me less if I really like the ideas or the work being promoted, of course. It bothers me less if the people doing it are also receptive and interactive, using Twitter and other social media primarily for connecting, learning, and sharing materials other than their own. I know teachers who are using that self-promotion to help make ends meet. Really – as in, they don’t make enough money teaching full-time and need supplemental income. And as a consumer of books, conferences, etc., I’d rather see/hear from my peers in the classroom, all else being equal.

    1. Fantastic comments David and another example that Tweets are not the end all and be all of our conversations. Thanks for joining the conversation David, you know how much I value your ideas.

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