It’s all about relationships

April 25, 2012

This is a guest post written by Henrietta Miller. Henrietta is a stage three teacher at a K-12 girl’s school in Sydney. She blogs about teaching and learning at Classroom Chronicles and with her class at year 6rc.

I discovered Henrietta when a friend of mine Steve Collis retweeted an article about her in the Sydney Morning Herald. Henrietta sounded like an incredible teacher to know, so I followed her on Twitter. Later that term I was offered some casual teaching days, followed by a one term block of work at Henrietta’s school. Standing alone in the playground, I recognised Henrietta from her profile picture, making her way up to her classroom with her early morning pot of tea. By recess I plucked up the courage to introduce myself. I informed Henrietta that while she didn’t know me I had infact been following her on Twitter for quite some time. It was a fabulous icebreaker and before the end of the day we had booked ourselves into a conference in the city and arranged to travel together. It was a wonderful night meeting other Twitter ‘associates’ and sharing a meal together in a nearby restaurant. 


We stayed in touch after that, through Twitter, through attending an Interactive SMARTboard conference with Henrietta’s colleagues as well as a digital literacy conference where Henrietta was presenter. By the time I was due to start my block I felt very connected to my new colleague and the team she worked with. Although I teach elsewhere now the connections continue to deepen especially with the teachers who tweet.

Reflecting on one of the conferences we attended Henrietta said:

The best part about these two days was that we were not alone. We were lucky enough to go to this conference with five other staff members from our school. That represented nearly half our junior school staff. At least two others were following along the day’s tweet stream. Others would have been there but for holidays, wedding planning and sickness. We had never been to an event with so many other teachers from our school before and it certainly made for powerful learning and powerful connections. The opportunity to also meet with other teachers we only knew through twitter was great too.

To my mind joining together, whether at a local or interstate TeachMeet, at a conference, or at home via twitter, is all about building relationships. We need to be busy building relationships that will help to connect and bind us as teams. Whether they are school based teams, district based teams or twitter based teams. A team that works together, learns and shares together has to be a powerful force for change. And that again is at the core. For the sake of the future and all the students in our schools, teachers have to grow, teachers have to learn, teachers have to change, to develop and become 21st century educators.

Teachers who do this while in teams will not only be powerful forces for change. Together they will have much more fun doing it, than if they tried to run solo.


One comment

  1. Agree!! Looking forward to continuing to build the team in 2013 – I hope!!

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