When I first decided to actually use Twitter solely for educational purposes a little over a year ago, I thought to myself, “Are there actually any teachers and educators on here and if so how the heck am I going to find them?” I just thought Twitter was for rich and mainly famous celebrities, hence my lack of interest in it initially. I mean, following LeBron James is cool I guess, but I’ve never really been into that kind of stuff. Little did I know that the Twitterverse was filled with a booming community of active educators who disseminate and share ideas, information, and tips on teaching. Looking back, I wish I had jumped on Twitter and made edu-friends as soon as I got into teaching. Nevertheless, below is a list of 5 individuals who are at the top of their game. Here are 5 rockstar educators to follow:
Christopher Emdin @chrisemdin
Dr. Emdin is an associate professor in the department of Math, Science, and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University. He started his journey in educational leadership as a high school teacher in New York City and has been growing his unique style of infusing youth culture into teaching ever since. A few years back, he developed his hastag, #HipHopEd, and branded a pedagogy of teaching our most marginalized youth by including aspects of hip-hop culture into curriculum. He recently published a book, For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…And the Rest of Y’all Too, which quickly became a New York Times best-seller. Struggling to connect with your students? Want to infuse their culture into your practice? Dr. Emdin is your go-to man!
Kyle Schwartz @kylemschwartz
Ms. Schwartz is a third-grade teacher who practices in Colorado. She is passionate about the children she teaches and is active on Twitter, two pieces vital to becoming a rockstar teacher. She had her students complete a simple prompt, titled “I Wish My Teacher Knew,” in an attempt to get to know her students better, and did she ever. Students shared personal struggles with poverty and family issues. The hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew went viral and Kyle garnered attention from the likes of CNN and The New York Times. Teaching rockstardom hasn’t slowed Kyle down. She is still active on many Twitter chats concerning education that range in topics from technology to race. Kyle is definitely a teacher passionate about the process of closing the gap between teacher and parent and her ideas are vital to the growing understanding of how we can better connect with our students.
Dwayne Reed @TeachMrReed
Dwayne Reed grew up in the inner-city of Chicago. He now also teaches in the city. Right now, he is in his first year of teaching. So in an attempt to engage his elementary students and get them excited to learn, he created a rap song called “Welcome to the 4th Grade”. Obviously, I know about this because it too, went viral (within the circles of education at least). Either way, it is motivating to see a first-year teacher start their career by being innovative and taking chances. Because of that, I have a feeling that he will continue to be inspiring.
Angela Maiers @AngelaMaiers
Maiers is one of our educators who is a thought leader in infusing technology with education. She has taught, spoken about, and even written on 21st century skills and, in particular, how educators and students can best use social media as a tool to learn and engage in education. Angela is an excellent source if you are looking to stay current in those fields.
Dr. Sean Cianfarano @Sean_Cianfarano
Dr. Cianfarano is a former educator, principal and superintendent. He now spends most of his time researching in the field of education and being an overall superstar in the field of public intellectuals. His Twitter account is a bevy of information regarding all things education. He is a man who practices what he preaches, constantly observing classrooms and sharing best practices.
I have used these 5 rockstar educators to inform my practice over the last year. Hopefully, they can help you. If you can think of any other educators that you think should be on this list, please comment, or better yet, tweet me @callmemrmorris. Let’s keep the conversation going and grow from each other!
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