Opinion
Teaching Profession Opinion

Twitter Chats Can Build Collaboration for Systemic Change

By Starr Sackstein — September 04, 2016 2 min read

Every year I go into the school year not really knowing what to expect. And since this year is so drastically different, not just in the specific perimeter of my job but also in the school community I will now be a part of.

Rather than let fear consume me, (there have been moments throughout the summer that it has), I choose to stay really centered in what I know and can do. Because I know when I keep myself open to the miraculous occurrences that exist within this world, many opportunities show themselves in the most unlikely places.

I also know that I always have support on social media if I need it.

When we share with others our fears and expectations, we have a great opportunity to grow together and Twitter chats are a great way to connect to do this especially if we aren’t getting the colleagiality or collaboration inside of our schools.

During a past #sunchat, many folks shared openly about their experiences - I noticed that a vast majority of our chatters are mid-career to later career educators which was extremely heartening as it is where I’d situate myself on the continuum.

Some common themes that emerged that I took note of were:


  • Integration of technology, not just for the sake of adding it but understanding the purpose behind it and using it as a tool

  • An acceptance that we aren’t perfect and can never be

  • We won’t always know everything and that is okay

  • Teachers are role models whether they like it or not, so we need to decide what kind we will be

  • Many of us fear change although we acknowledge its necessity

  • Being vulnerable and honest is hard, but rewarding

  • Keeping an open mind helps us all learn better

  • Working together creates more learning than isolation

  • Blogging is a great way to reflect on our experiences - sharing what we write helps others as much as it helps us.

Sometimes in chats, I hear myself saying the same things and I question the redundancy -


  • Are new people hearing me?
  • Do I grow tired with the same ideas
  • Aren’t enough people listening and changing yet?

I’m consistent if nothing else.

Others have said that Twitter is a bunch of us preaching to the choir, but maybe it’s time to take that show on the road. How can we take what we discuss on these chats and make the knowledge a part of the change?

First we bring it into our own classrooms, then engage our colleagues and communities and now it’s time to start changing education nationally.

The time is NOW -

What will you do to help us change current policy for the benefit of all kids, not just the ones in your own space? Please share

The opinions expressed in Work in Progress are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.