Here at ASCD, we understand the value and wealth of information available to educators on Pinterest. In fact, we find ourselves mining our own resources daily and searching for the best tips and tools to share with you through our pin boards. We like to stay on the lookout for new and exciting ways to bring you the resources you need, which is why we’ve teamed up with elementary education expert and teacher Suzy Brooks to develop a brand new pin board where we curate our favorite classroom resources for elementary teachers.
I asked Brooks to share a bit more about herself with our readers. After all, one of social media’s major benefits is making connections. Or, as Brooks says, “Whether you are e-mailing, texting, liking, tweeting, vining, linking, tumbling, or Starbucking, you are networking socially. The only wrong way to do it is to not do it at all.”
I hope you enjoy connecting with her as much as I have.
Tell us a little bit about your history as an educator.
I became a teacher later than most at age 36. My journey to the classroom was indirect and ultimately shaped me an educator, I believe. I have a lot of background experience that allows me to look at the classroom in unique ways, and I had been waiting forever to get in there! I am so very thankful for my job every day.
What role do you see social media playing in education?
I think social media has only just begun to tap into the “average” classroom. I’ve met hundreds of educators from all over the world, and some of them are still not connected to online social networks. I believe the more we connect in the future, the more difference we will be able to make in the lives of our students. Best practices will become more widespread and the inspiration we are finding in our social media networks will reach more and more teachers.
Tell us about your classroom blog.
Our classroom blog has become a natural extension of our school day. Without it, I’m not sure how I’d make those essential home-to-school connections! Sharing what we do during the school day with our families is imperative. A classroom website is one super way of doing just that. The more schools and families work together, the more our students will ultimately benefit. My blog changes and grows each year, all depending on the students in my class and the needs of their particular families. I’ve already added three pages this year alone based solely on parent feedback.
What inspires you?
That’s a great question. My students inspire me—and not in a cliche way. Trying to find the best way to meet their needs drives me to distraction. I become attached to who they are and what they require and I spend 180 days trying to support them as whole children. I then spend my summers trying to learn more to better myself as an educator in general. Every September, the cycle begins anew, and I am reenergized with a new batch of learners!
What advice do you have for educators?
I think it is important for teachers to know they cannot wait until the next professional development session to learn more. They have to reach out to other teachers online in some way and stay connected to benefit their students and our profession as a whole. Teacher voice will help drive education reform. If we stay holed up in our classrooms with teacher’s manuals and copy machines, nothing will ever change. Be amazing and share that amazingness with others. Seriously.