So apparently it’s “Connected Educators Month” or something. I really couldn’t tell you because the last time I posted was toward the end of September and I’m not exactly the most retweeted person on the web, but I’ve seen a hashtag or something and I’ve seen a lot of posts espousing the beauteous wondrous magnificent glories of being a connected educator so sure, it’s “Connected Educators Month.” And I guess since I have a blog and I’m on Twitter, I should complete my “Connected Educators Month” assignment and write about what it’s like to be a “Connected Educator.” Or something. I mean, my self-proclaimed burned-out, blocked, depressed, often snarky and of late negative voice isn’t needed except perhaps to illustrate how an oppressive system takes the heart out of the best of us but I’m still an educator and I’m still “connected,” right?
But connected or not, I’m an authority on nothing, just some schmuck teacher and wannabe writer who likes to ramble on every once in a while. Talking about what I’ve gotten out of being a “Connected Educator” wouldn’t be very exciting, and espousing the values of a PLN wouldn’t work either, considering I don’t personally use the phrase. So in thinking of what to talk about and thinking about my fellow “Connected Educators,” I came up with the perfect thing to talk about for “Connected Educators Month.” I give you …
Five Things Connected Educators Do That Annoy the Crap Out of Me
1. Ignore reality. Do you know the other reason that I haven’t posted very much in the last couple of weeks? I’ve been too busy teaching. It kind of happens. I mean, I realize that teachers should “make time” to do these things and all, but the truth of the matter is that I’ve spent more time grading papers, writing lesson plans, and checking yearbook work in the last few weeks than I have Twittercizing. Of course, I don’t get the impression that a lot of “Connected Educators” have this problem, or at least I get the impression that I’m doing something wrong here because … oh, I don’t know, I’m teaching at a public school in a rural county instead of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that some of the ideas I see from the Twitterati are good ones, but they’re just ideas and sometimes I wonder if they realize how impractical they can be especially to those of us who have to deal with crappy wifi, have to fight for resources, would rather not #BYOD because it means babysitting, can only apply 20% “you can do whatever you want” time to a lesson about Lord of the Flies, and feel like retraining Pavlov’s Dogs would be easier than getting quality work and effort out of an ungraded assignment.
2. Over promote and over sell. I was logged into Twitter the other night and saw a Tweet that hashtagged at least four words. And not like when we all usually post things and hashtag them so they’ll get read, like #edchat or #rechat or #whateverchat. The hashtags in this were like #students and #learning … and I was like, “for real?” I honestly don’t know what the tweet was about because all I could do was wonder if that person realizes that there’s an art to hashtagging and hashtagging #students isn’t really going to get your average student to read about or care about what you’re saying.
#Or #maybe #I #should #hashtag #more #because #it #will #get #more #attention?
Not that you shouldn’t use hashtags. But there’s a limit, people. Also, when you tweeted your post out on Thursday afternoon, I read it. So … Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning … you’re still tweeting about it? Look, if I wanted to hear someone tell the same story over and over again I’d call my father and ask him to talk about some time he told someone off or something. He’s certainly more entertaining.
Oh, and congrats on winning a Bammy, Schmammy, and Whammy (big money big money no whammies no whammies STOP!). I mean, I don’t really know what those are but they must be important because they’re plastered all over your site.
3. Live tweet conferences, keynotes, etc. Hey, did everyone love it the other night when I livetweeted my iTunes playlist? Wasn’t it awesome when I had some Blood, Sweat, and Tears in the middle and closed out with songs by Tom Waits and The Band? Wasn’t it awesome? Yeah, I know you didn’t see it. And if you saw it, I know you didn’t care. And while I’m sure that [speaker who is making more money in an hour than I will make all month] is saying great things, I have no context for it so I’ll probably just ignore you.
4. Successorize. Did you know that education is the lighting of a fire? You should because any time anyone says it, it’s retweeted a THOUSAND times. I realize that there’s only so much conversation you can have in 140 characters but for the love of all that is holy, please think twice before you say something that is usually sold at a kiosk at a mall. Also, please drop phrases like “in the trenches.” This isn’t trench warfare. If anything, it’s Vietnam: the higher-ups have no idea what they’re doing, we’re completely surrounded, and there’s no support at home.
5. Post everything in list format. Don’t you hate it when people cloyingly put all of their ideas into lists because they know that’s the only way they’ll get attention? What a pain in the ass.