Twitter is a great place for teachers, but it can be a bit confusing if you’re new to the whole thing. No one explains the rules of engagement or what’s expected of you. There is no sign on the door telling you to be ‘quiet, exams in progress’.
I spent the first year on Twitter behaving as though I was at my nan’s house! I was deliberately polite and I kept my shoes clean. But I soon realised I didn’t have to be so hesitant, and it was well worth taking the time to get more involved.
I found a responsive, well meaning group of fellow maths teachers to engage with. If I needed help with a lesson idea, or if I was wondering who uses a particular method for teaching quadratic factorisation, I found I could fire it out on Twitter and someone would reach out to help me.
But it you’re new to Twitter, what can you do to make sure your Tweet is seen by other teachers, rather than it getting lost like an old teabag blown off the end of Hastings Pier?
You can add a hashtag (that’s a # for anyone new).
And one of the best times to add a hashtag is during #mathschat, a weekly discussion hour for maths teachers to chat about a certain topic or issue within maths teaching. It takes place every Wednesday from 8pm (UK time).
How to join in with #mathschat
This will take you to the place where you can see all the Tweets that contain #mathschat so you can see what has been discussed before.
To take part in a live #mathschat, log on to Twitter on a Wednesday during term time at 8pm (UK time).
That’s when you’ll meet lots of like-minded maths teachers who get together to spend an hour discussing a particular topic. Some come along for the whole hour, some drop in and out, some only attend when the Bake Off is not on.
Just make sure your Tweets contain the hashtag #mathschat and they will be included in the chat.
We decide the topics for #mathschat at the start of each month and they’re shared beforehand on Twitter. You can share your ideas for a topic to discuss by going to the topic suggester page.
A helpful tip: Twitter normally organises Tweets by popularity, so you’ll see the Tweets that have been most interacted with first. You can rearrange them by clicking on ‘latest’, ‘all’ or ‘live’ and it will list them with the most recent at the top. This is the mode you want to be in if you want to take part in a #mathschat.
So come over on a Wednesday evening and join us for #mathschat. You are most welcome.