Posted in twitter

Connected

Today during #EdTalksGlobalGathering I was asked for one word to currently describe myself and said CONNECTED.

Let me give you a little more information – there I was, ‘Toria the Teacher’, in the #EdTalks staffroom with people from all around the world. We were discussing the importance of ‘Wellbeing’ and whilst I had a little voice chirruping “you don’t deserve to be here” in my head, I took my place alongside everyone else and had my voice heard. Just in case you missed it – find it here:

Having my voice heard is scary and connecting can be even scarier!

This morning I co-hosted #MorningBrewEd with Chris Harrison and the topic was ‘Building Book Bridges’. We were interviewing three authors – Rashmi Sirdeshpande, Richard O’Neill and Vashti Hardy and I was terrified. How could I, Toria the Teacher, interview authors – they live on a different plain after all! I discovered however, that when I stopped worrying the conversation flowed and I also discovered that authors are real people just like you and I.

They are real people who need us to support them more than ever during this international pandemic. During normal times, many authors supplement their income through school visits and this isn’t something they can do currently. It is all too easy to think ‘Oh well, we will get them back when this is all over’, but how does this help them? As we discussed this morning, there are so many alternative ways to link with authors and build those bridges – virtual author visits, diverse book weeks, pre-recorded author questions, authors being linked to a school. Richard, Vashti and Rashmi want to support educators as so many other authors do. So go online and find your favourite authors, connect with them and find out how you can support them and they can support you!

For all the great ideas we discussed, watch #MorningBrewEd Building Book Bridges https://www.pscp.tv/MorningBrewEd/1LyxBaAQoaWJN

This padlet is linked to the episode – feel free to add anything that you think is relevant to this important discussion.

Made with Padlet

I have also connected with some of my great Twitter friends through DM, WhatsApp and phonecalls today. I have met so many people through #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites and so many of these people have become great friends.

Have you found #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites yet?

It is a wonderful online community that meets every Tuesday. They meet through my pinned tweet (pinned at 5am GMT) and they connect. They chat, support and become friends with each other – at least that is what I have observed since it started at the end of March 2020.

Connecting is so good for our mental wellbeing – it helps us to feel part of and not apart from. Now, more than ever, we need each other! So come along on Tuesday and connect with all of us – just find my pinned tweet. It will look something like this!

I really hope that I have connected with you but, if I haven’t then find me on Twitter @toriaclaire and connect. Remember:

Posted in #BrewEdFindYourVoice, education, teaching, twitter

#BrewEdFindYourVoice – Post 3

#BrewEdFindYourVoice

As I hope you know by now, the first ever #BrewEdFindYourVoice will be on:

Saturday August 29th from 9am – 5pm

You don’t need a ticket – just find my pinned tweet (@toriaclaire), click on it and start watching! Alternatively, follow me on periscope where it will be streaming.

We have such an exciting day planned with the most inspirational of speakers – there will be talks on Equity, Collaboration and becoming a Global Educator. There will be others on Kindness, Wellbeing and Visible Diversity. There will be…no that would spoil it if I gave it all away now, but gosh the presentations we have planned and the lunchtime panel! Oops I didn’t mean to mention the panel – more on that in a later post! So, without further adieu, may I introduce more phenomenal educators who will be presenting that day –

Introducing….

Aretha Banton and Youlande HarrowellMindful Equity UK

About Mindful Equity UK

Mindful Equity UK was founded by Aretha Banton and Youlande Harrowell.  They are a brand new service supporting Black and Asian women educators right from the start of their careers – from trainee teacher onwards.  Their mission is to ensure that more Black and Asian women educators join the teaching profession, stay in the teaching profession and move into leadership in the teaching profession.  

Mindful Equity UK run a peer networking service providing advice, guidance and coaching to Black and Asian women throughout their early teaching careers. They encourage solution focused conversations about representation and inclusion within the education sector with the aim of influencing changes within educational policy and practices.  Their consultancy strand supports ITT providers, employers and leadership teams to implement frameworks that will increase the diversity amongst student teachers, early career teachers and leadership teams.  They work with the most amazing allies and are proud to be part of a wide ranging and truly representative network.  

The Founders

Aretha Banton is an Assoc. Vice Principal EYFS- P16 specialising in SEND, Safeguarding and Inclusion.  She is proud to have worked in a range of diverse schools and Academies improving outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged students.  She is driven by a passion for social mobility and meaningful change.

Youlande Harrowell is an Assistant Headteacher working in an inner London secondary school and is experienced in leading successful sixth form provisions, CEIAG and developing key stage 5 curriculums. Youlande is a proud champion and advocate for visibly diverse leaderships in education.

To find out more visit www.mindfulequityuk.co.uk  and follow them on Twitter @MindfulEquityUK

Introducing….

Mair Bull

Mair Bull is a former Head of Drama, now based at Manchester Metropolitan University completing an MA in Educational Leadership and Management. She is also a content writer for BBC Bitesize, GCSEpod and the TES. Mair is an experienced examiner, a Vice-Chair of Governors at a Pupil Referral Unit and the North West Champion for Open Drama UK. Mair has co-created the new Early Career Teachers’ #DramaSupport platform on YouTube with Open Drama UK and Manchester Metropolitan University. Twitter: @MairBull

Holly Barradell

Holly is a member of extended SLT at an all ability Academy in Tunbridge Wells, Kent with responsibility for the Expressive Arts & Early Career teachers. She is a Drama teacher (with a specialism in technical theatre having trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School) and sits as an external subject expert for Ofqual, she’s worked for several exam boards as a moderator, visiting examiner and as a developer for the 2016 reformed GCSE & GCE qualifications. Holly co-founded Open Drama UK, is a critical friend for the Action for Children’s Arts and is a fellow of the RSA. She recently had her first co-authored teacher textbook published by HarperCollins Publishers. Twitter: @drama_holly 

Well, what do you think? Aren’t they amazing and added to the ones you have met already through these posts won’t it be a great day? I really hope you are coming – let me know on Twitter or by liking this post!

Posted in #TinyVoiceTuesday, #TVTTagTeam, education, NQT, twitter

#TinyVoiceTuesday: Top Tips gathered for NQTs

As many of you know, #TinyVoiceTuesday, is the system that I created on Twitter to help educators get answers to their questions. I love Eleanor’s (@MissRiddler) description of it:

#TinyVoiceTuesday is a great mathematical solution to the Twitter algorithms problem…with one tag and one hashtag you are automatically casting your net to a wide-range of professionals.

The hashtag is #TinyVoiceTuesday, the tag is me @toriaclaire. Once you ask a question using this tag and hashtag, then I tag in a wide range of professionals who will be able to answer your tweet. The ‘Tiny Voice Tuesday Tag Team’ otherwise known as #TVTTagTeam are the professionals who I tag in.

The #TVTTagTeam now consists of over 320 educators from nursery to FE and ranging in experience and roles. That means that when you ask a question on #TinyVoiceTuesday you are guaranteed a multitude of different answers to that question.

Last Sunday, Matt (@Teach_MrC) asked a #TinyVoiceTuesday question. Yes, I know it wasn’t Tuesday, but that is the beauty of #TinyVoiceTuesday it can be used seven days a week – just remember to tag me in.

I then put out the call to some of the #TVTTagTeam – the ones who specialise in NQT support and ITT. The great thing about the team is that not only do they answer the question, they will often retweet and tag in others which means that most questions get many, many answers.

Matt gathered lots of great answers to this question and was able to use them to support Initial Teacher Trainees in a presentation he did on Thursday (I know this as I work alongside Matt). To show you how fantastic the answers are and the wealth of experience that you have at the touch of a button (well a hash-tag and a tag), Matt has created a padlet which consists of all the answers he received on #TinyVoiceTuesday – thank you to everyone who contributed to this and his ITTs are very grateful for your help too.

Made with Padlet

So remember if you have a question use #TinyVoiceTuesday and @toriaclaire, I’ll then tag in the team! If I don’t do anything please DM me – sometimes my notifications are a little bit hectic.

I hope this makes sense and if you want to find out more about joining the #TVTTagTeam and what it means, I have written these articles…

A New Twitter Community Emerges

A New Twitter Community Emerges – #TVTTagTeam.
I’ve joined – what now? Why is there another hashtag? How does this link with #TinyVoiceTuesday? I haven’t joined, can I?
All these questions are answered in this post – read on and RT!

#DailyWritingChallenge: Trust

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that two months ago I set up #TinyVoiceTuesday. This was born out of frustration as no one ever answered my questions and I wanted to create a place where other ‘tiny voices’ could ask a question and be answered. As this became more […]

I have also collated some previous questions asked on #TinyVoiceTuesday here

#TinyVoiceTuesday – The Questions Asked and Answered

#TinyVoiceTuesday began on Tuesday 11th February 2020 and at the beginning of March I wrote a post that consisted of the questions asked by the Tiny Voices and links to the threads (answers). I hoped that this would help others and it would appear it did – so I have done it again. This post incorporates the original […]

Posted in #TinyVoiceTuesday, #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites, #TVTTagTeam, twitter

Finding Your Voice & Growing Your PLN!

Anyone that has met me on Twitter or has heard me speak, knows that ‘Finding Your Voice’ and ‘Growing a Strong Personal Learning Network’ are two things that I am utterly passionate about.

Brendon Hyndman said that:

Twitter provides a modern platform for teachers to share, network, gain emotional support, build professional learning communities and make a contribution to the profession.

but it isn’t always easy knowing where to start. So how do you grow your PLN?

Quite simply connect!

So, what do I mean by connecting? Connecting means that I don’t just follow people, I try to make a point of reading their tweets and responding to them. On forums like #TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites this is easy, I have written before about following being the virtual smile but smiling doesn’t enable us to connect and get to know people. In order to do that we have to talk. We have to ask questions and share a little bit of ourselves. Just for a minute consider – do you follow, or do you connect?

#TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites

#TinyVoiceTuesdayUnites meets every Tuesday (funnily enough) from early morning (about 5.15am BST) and enables people to connect globally. Introduce yourself but then reply to others, ask questions and respond to theirs. It is a safe place to test your voice out on Twitter and to connect with other like-minded educators.

I will be back in school full-time this week but will make every effort to connect with everyone on the thread, I love doing this every week and joining in the various conversations. If I don’t answer you immediately I am sorry – I will by the end of the day!

Finding Your Voice!

Due to the Twitter algorithms and super-fast timelines, it is very easy for tweets to go unnoticed, so make sure that you tag people in. We care and we want you to be heard. If you have a question, make sure that you tag me in and add #TinyVoiceTuesday and I will tag in people who can answer you, just like @MsKateABrown did.

#TinyVoiceTuesday @toriaclaire

As I am back in school and do get quite a few notifications a DM with a link to your tweet is a great idea – that way I won’t miss it.

Robert John Meehan said that:

The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration our growth is limited to our own perspectives.

That means that you are a valuable resource and we need to hear your voice. Your ideas are so important to the perspectives of others so please speak up! I really hope that this helps and remember – you are not alone and we are definitely stronger together!

Here are a number of links about me discussing the importance of YOUR voice!

Here is the link for the slides I used for this