My professional life changed the day I discovered the power of a well-considered Twitter feed. No longer stuck in the bubble of my school or district, I was able to find like-minded people to connect with, as well as follow and learn from educators with differing life experiences and perspectives.
As I was browsing my news feed a couple of years ago, it hit me that every avatar I scrolled past had a white face. While it felt validating to see many of my own ideas about education shared across the Twitterverse, it had become a self-affirming echo chamber. That day, I made the choice to start intentionally seeking out and following educators of color. I meant to expand and diversify my network; what I found was that I still have a whole lot of learning left to do.
Once I started following, listening to and learning from educators of color on Twitter, I saw how rarely I had actually considered these perspectives in my classroom. Yes, I taught about Black Lives Matter in my sociology classes. Yes, I saw my diverse students as having rich and valuable life experiences that could contribute to the welcoming environment I worked to foster in my classroom. But I still had no idea how much my own Whiteness filtered my worldview. Paying attention has allowed me to truly progress on my journey to becoming the teacher my students need me to be.
Here are the first 10 people to follow on Twitter if you want to break out of your own bubble and truly understand what equity means for your students. This list is certainly not exhaustive and leaves out some really great educators, but it is a place to start.
I chose these 10 edu-tweeters because they are especially active and engaged in creating a culture of dialogue that pushes my thinking. They are also pretty responsive to comments. Once you start following them, I encourage you to notice who they are tagging most often and explore the “Who to Follow” suggestions on their pages to continue growing your network.
@DingleTeach: Marian Dingle teaches elementary math and passionately advocates for all kids. She is compassionate and fierce as she holds others lovingly accountable to their responsibility as educators.
Michelle Cottrell-Williams (she/her) is the 2018 Virginia Teacher of the Year and a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY). She considers herself a disruptor and hopes to empower others to rethink the status quo. Michelle teaches high school social studies in Arlington, Virginia. As an educator, she considers herself lucky to get to spend every day with ...