A couple of weeks ago some of the librarians in our district sent out an idea for a district Twitter chat for our students. They included a great form that we could use for the students to fill out. I had just participated in a professional chat a few days before, hosted by Todd Nesloney, about creating a positive school culture. In fact, Todd’s recent #EduLS challenge was to celebrate someone. So, the third prompt on the Twitter sheet appealed to me, “Give a Shout Out to a Teacher!”
As the GT teacher, I have students from all grade levels, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for my classes to perform a random act of kindness for potentially every staff member in the school.
My younger students dictated their Tweets to me, while older students wrote their own and then tweeted them from our class account once I approved them.
Knowing that not many teachers follow our class account, I’ve been collecting the Tweets in Storify each day, and mailing the link to the teachers included in that day’s accolades. All of the students were allowed to choose who got the shout outs, and most of them chose to recognize two or three staff members each.
I am trying to encourage the students to name something specific they remember about the person, rather than just saying, “You’re nice.” It’s been gratifying to see that they are happy to include all staff members – not just classroom teachers.
I want to thank Irene Kistler(@IreneKistler) and Sara Romine (@laffinglibrary) for spreading this idea. I believe Irene is the author of Twitter Paper. When I asked her if I could share the idea, she pointed me to a very cool website that inspired her. It is called KidsEdChatNZ, and has fabulous prompts for their New Zealand student participants each week.
It appears that the New Zealand chat happens at a weekly scheduled time. However, I think that doing this as a “slow chat” was great so that we could get more participants.
If you are interested, you might also want to check out the “S.C.A.M.P.E.R.” Twitter Chat with students that we did in February.