Thursday, July 25, 2013

Powerful Conversations via Twitter

By Rodney Hetherton

I was thinking this morning about the @RafranzDavis blog "Not Easily Offended on Twitter" when I received a challenge on one of my morning tweets.  And guess what?  I wasn't offended, either.

This is the beauty of building a PLN.  There are great minds all over the globe thinking about how to make this world (mine focused mainly around education) a better place.  When I get into a debate or conversation with someone on Twitter,  the fact is I don't know them... unless they are from my local PLN (hey, #swcrkPLN you rock!)  The debate from this morning actually came from someone I had never heard of, wasn't following or being followed.

 You have to assume that these are respectable people you are conversing with, probably tops in their profession trying to  learn and grow, just like you and me.  The conversations seem to become more alive and more real on Twitter.  It has me wondering if it is paradoxical that people we don't really know are, in fact, engaging us more authentically than the people we do know?

I wish our local conversations were more authentic like Twitter.  Too bad our own interactions within our classrooms, buildings, and  districts aren't fashioned in the same sense.  We often let our relationships make tough conversations and debates personal.  Don't get me wrong, relationships are everything!  The are the prefix to all other educational initiatives.  It is the taking the conversation personally that interferes with the authenticity.

That is why I am truly excited to be reading "Fierce Conversations" this summer as part of an admin leadership book study.  I am hoping to find more gems about being upfront, honest, authentic, and engaging in our "live" conversations.  Not taking words personally is a hard one for a great many of us.  I have learned, so far, that being fierce just means being passionate and honest with ourselves and those we interact with (at school and home).

Back to Twitter.  I am just amazed at the dialogue on Twitter.  I would love to see more of my colleagues jump on board.  I encourage you to encourage others to give it a try; show them the spice of life.   I would hope we could get to that point of authentic conversation with all our colleagues in education, especially the ones we stand next to, shoulder to shoulder, for 40 or 50 hours a week.

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