Teacherscribe’s Teaching Tip #67
This article is preaching to the choir:
Shocker, I totally agree.
Here are the reasons I believe teachers must give your kids your cell phone number and follow them on Twitter. I'm going to phrase it in the first person though from my point of view.
#1 I like kids. Nothing says (to this generation of kids) "I don't really care much about you" than not following them on social media or allowing them to contact you when they have questions. Two years ago I had a student email me via our my prowler account. I got back to him via my smartphone in about 20 minutes. He sent me another email thanking me and telling me how surprised he was. He said most teachers took a day or two to get back to him, if they even got back to him. And this isn't a run of the mill kid. He'll be the top student in his class in two years.
It worked to have that separation between teacher and student for Gen X. But not anymore.
#2 If you show that you like them and care about them, it helps create a positive culture. And in the words of our leader, "Culture eats strategy for lunch." As one of my students said at the honors banquet last year, "I texted Mr. Reynolds at 11:30, praying he'd get back to me and not be too mad that I had procrastinated so badly on my paper. And within a minute he got right back to me and answered my questions. I knew he cared about me and his students."
#3 There is never an excuse for a late assignment
#4 The kids deserve it. When I was a high school student I did my work as late as possible. Not so anymore. I will get a text or a Tweet from a student at 4 in the afternoon as they're on the bus to a game. Then I'll get another one at 7 when they get done with practice. I'll get another at 9 when they're off work. And I'll get another at 11:30 when they're stuck and really sweating it out.
Compare your life as a student to these kids. My life in 1990 was not close to as busy as the lives of these kids. They deserve to have a teacher on the clock 24/7.
#5 Be a role model. When a kid fires off something stupid on Twitter, be there to show them how to be a responsible intellectual who loves learning and life. Don't act like a moron (and just check Facebook, you'll see a ton of adults acting this way) who wants to act like they're 18 even though they're 42.
Give them something to aspire to grow up to be.
#6 promotion. Show the world all the great stuff you do in class. If you don't do anything great, what are you doing in this profession?
If you don't do these things, you'll be a great teacher, For the kids who were in high school 25 years ago.