'Quick, High Dose Shot of Brilliance and Collaboration'

‘Quick, High Dose Shot of Brilliance and Collaboration’

Twitter Chat devotees describe the allure of Monday night chats


WFISD’s Monday night Twitter Chats provide a roundtable of discussion on pre-decided, specified topics that are conducted –tweet by tweet -- via the Twitter app. Twitter Chat leaders have included WFISD teachers Lexi Law, Amy Janjgava, Heather Preston, Amy Yeary, Dr. Cody Blair, among others. Even Superintendent Mike Kuhrt – avid Twitter fan that he is – jumped in and led a November chat.


So what’s the appeal? Why work a Twitter Chat into your already busy schedule? Some of WFISD’s Twitter Chat leaders explain.


(And just remember: The beauty of a Twitter Chat is that it’s not all in the past, over and done. Log onto Twitter at #wfisdchat and – even now -- read the stream of tweets submitted.)



Amy Janjgava, Dyslexia


Twitter Chats are wonderful! Talk about Monday Motivation! As I write this, I’m driving back from a Dallas training (no pit-stops) so I can be home in time for tonight’s (Dec.  3) chat. 


Twitter Chats are an opportunity for a quick, high-dose shot of brilliance and collaboration. No limits: Topics touch each of us cross-curricular and elementary/middle school/high school. No matter the professional title you carry, we all SHARE the same passions and solution-finding desire for student success. 


It has become a way to seam together all educators and have a kinship with one another, even if we haven’t ever met face-to-face!



Amy Yeary, Barwise Middle School, 6th grade reading

Twitter chats are exciting, fast-paced, and packed with so many thoughts and ideas to take back to my own classroom. Participating in chats really just pulls together our teaching community and blurs the lines between campuses. The chats allow us to go beyond our buildings for ideas and help us feel less alone in what can be a challenging profession. It isn't all about wonderful things; we can share our struggles and get support, too. I think that is more important now than ever! 


Being a part of #WFISDchat is easier than it may appear. I use Tweetdeck to organize my Twitter into manageable columns, and I can have a separate stream just for #WFISDchat or whatever chat I am a part of. I can easily see posts and respond.


Many people love to schedule their Tweets if they can't participate live. I used that when I hosted our first chat. It was such a time-saver and allowed me to dedicate more energy to what others were saying and respond to them.


There are many blogs with other helpful tips too. I recommend just jumping in and trying it! 


Heather Preston, Rider High School

WFISDchat was born out of the desire to have a way to connect across the district. We have so many fantastic teachers doing such good work across the district. It seemed as though we had this untapped source of knowledge. Twitter serves as the perfect medium to be able to have these important discussions as it allows anyone to participate from anywhere and if you miss a chat, it is easy to go back and read what was said. 


We started our WFISDchats the first week we came back from the summer. Amy Yeary hosted the first chat on August 13th. Her topic was setting expectations and establishing relationships for a smooth beginning to the year. Since then, we have had 17 more chats (always on Monday at 8pm) for a total of 18 chats so far. We usually do not have a chat if it falls on a break. 


The moderators for the chat change every week with each moderator bringing a topic that he or she is interested in. Because of this, the discussion on WFISDchat is organic and always evolving as each new moderator brings a new issue/interest to the forefronts of our minds.



Dr. Cody Blair, Rider High School

The chat that I led on January 7 was my first one to participate in live, just because I typically have a conflict on Monday nights.  I had always gone back after the chat a lot of weeks and read pieces of the discussion.  


Monday was a lot of fun!  The hour flew by, and I really enjoyed learning from staff across the district, hearing their thoughts and gaining their insights.  We have so many incredible educators in WFISD. This is a great way to sharpen each other and grow our own skills and understanding.