WARNING: THE WORDS PASSION AND INSPIRE ARE USED HERE MORE THAN CAN BE COUNTED ON FINGERS AND TOES
PS SCROLL TO BOTTOM AND FILL OUT OUR FORM!!
Making connections with many individuals “in the field” of education over Twitter has enhanced my professional development tenfold. I continue to learn from so many varying perspectives and then can reflect on what I am doing. It has helped bring some wonderful tools into my classroom as I follow the journey of others. I also have begun to follow some great scientists, science grad students and science writers that are actually “in the field” of science. Not all, but many of their posts have been informative and inspiring. A lot of their posts reflect the passion they have for their field of study which I must say has been contagious. I see how passionate some of these professionals can be in wanting to change and benefit this world. It immediately inspires me to get into my classroom and try to spread that passion to my students. We as science teachers can be the bridge between the possible passion in the field to the possible passion in the class. It is our job to inspire our students into being part of the change in the world and not just watching it from a far. Unfortunately, passion can be dulled in a learning environment for students. It seems to be our job to not allow this but instead to IGNITE passion with any and all means possible. Even OUR passion for teaching science can get bogged down at times due to many expectations put upon us. Sometimes we just need HELP. This is where I think social media can actually come in handy. (It’s not always about what Justin Beiber had for breakfast, but if that is what you want it can be) We can connect with like-minded or different-minded individuals to help us reflect our way through. For me I have found a couple “rock stars” in the science field that in following have excited me about what I can teach. It started when I began following an amazing science teacher Adam Taylor @2footgiraffe and his awesome hashtag that connects scientists to students in a weekly chat, #scistuchat. Being involved in a couple of those I have seen some of the wonderful engagement between “field’ and “class”! This pushes me to find more of these professionals and somehow connect. Just knowing of the great scientists or science writers to follow on Twitter is a great start for me. Then down the road hopefully they can see the impact they can have on science teachers and more importantly students and would even be willing to interact with us. This could lead to making authentic connections between the science field and the classroom at any age range!
I must mention two folks in the field that have recently absolutely inspired my science thinking with some exciting tweets. Alex Wild @Myrmecos with wonderful passion and facts about entomology he confirms my lessons to students to appreciate the beauty, importance and power of what is thought of as “ugly”. David Shiffman @WhySharksMatter with his powerful online presence giving the deserved respect to more amazing creatures that have been sensationalized to the point of destruction! His passion for conservation gets me all riled up which opens up great dialogue with students when “Sharknado” and “Jaws 2000 3D” are blaring through culture.
With all this said, I obviously want more of these folks in my Twitter stream as a science teacher. I know there are many more of them out there and hope they catch wind of how great their influence can be!! So, let us find them!!! Here is a form that I hope will lead to a comprehensive list of scientists, researchers, writers, grad students and science teachers that are willing to use social media and connect with each other. Selfishly, it will be a great list to benefit my enthusiasm but will hopefully spread to the many students I encounter! Please pass this on and share and share some more with all walks of life in the GLOBAL science and teaching community!