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10 tweeters I follow

Last November, long before I began the #tesl365 project, Adam Simpson (@yearinthelifeof) blogged his twitter challenge, “Ten people I follow on twitter and why“, which aims to do the same basic thing:  appreciate others.  Since then, a few other lists have popped up, like this one or this one and this one too, but since they all appear on my list below, I’ll save naming them for later.

Tweeters I followOne thing consistently tugging at my creative thinking is how to encourage more teachers, especially local ones, to start tweeting and blogging.  Given the immeasurable reflection, challenge and satisfaction I get from the interaction, I can get discouraged when my colleagues or workshop attendees don’t run with the opportunity.  How can I successfully convince them to join the online community?  What can I say to give them that extra push needed?  Obviously I’m not doing or saying the right things yet.  Still, I like to think leading by example helps.

With that in mind, where the #tesl365 doesn’t necessarily focus on my online inspirations, this challenge certainly will.  And they deserve a great deal of gratitude, whether they realise it or not.  This list, by definition, can’t include all the necessary people who have excellent blogs, tweet consistently or participate in inspiring conversation, and it probably should.  This list is a list of only 10 who have affected or contributed to my Twitter experience as an educator.

Jamie Keddie (@cheimi10) – I was surprised to see Mike Harrison say that Jamie was “actually the person responsible for [him] being on Twitter in the first place” since I have an almost identical gratitude.  Jamie did a webinar with English Central with me as host about his book, Images, and after that hilarity, told me that in order to use Twitter effectively, I needed to follow people first and then they’d follow me and an effort on my part to interact should ensue.  He was right and I thank him for showing me that Twitter wasn’t just a Facebook status replication.  Now, for our next online event…

Cecilia Coelho (@cecilialcoelho) – A teacher from Brazil, Cecilia is a person I’ve had some of the most interaction with on Twitter, especially lately–something that greatly benefits me.  She’s a dedicated teacher, learner, blogger, and a woman who likes a blog challenge.  Seeing each of those qualities develop and grow in someone else definitely contributes to my motivation in investing effort to those areas as well.    Now, to call her on her claim that she’d travel up to Toronto for PD…

Mike Harrison (@harrisonmike) – Was mentioning Mike earlier foreshadowing his appearance in my list?  Likely.  Mike’s BlogTwitterFacebook integrated approach resembles my own and I’ve learnt of some valuable tools (and others I’ve yet to fully appreciate) from him.  From practical lessons to social commentary to web tools 101, Mike brings a great variety of tweets that always lead me somewhere interesting.  Now, I wonder if he likes guest posting…

Torontoist (@torontoist) – No, not a TEFLer.  So why is it here?  Well, simply put, this local blog gives me more quality for my money (ok, it’s actually free) than pretty much any other local news source.  Plus, when you’re looking for that authentic reading for class, lots of up-to-date event coverage comes in handy.  Plus again, they’re people with opinions, not just seemingly-objectivist newspapers.  Now, how can I get Coursetree mentioned…

Shelly Terrell (@ShellTerrell) – I’ve already given Shelly well-deserved admiration here, but there’s never enough when credit is due.  Without Twitter, I may never have known that she is one of the hardest-working, dedicated to helping others, well-connected TEFLers out there.  That would have been a terrible shame and my definite loss–one aspect I use to convince other educators to join Twitter.  Now, to work together on #project…

Vicky Loras (@vickyloras) – Canadian AND living in the beautiful Switzerland – what better combination can there be (I can’t wait to do a tweetup either there or here!)?  Add dedicated teacher to the mix and there’s a winning combination in there.   Vicky’s immediate support for my tweets and my blog posts gave me that initial push I needed to keep doing them.  And it’s continued support through comments and retweets always make me feel great.  Now, if only I could do the same for her…

TESL Toronto (@TESLToronto) – I sit on this executive board.  In fact, at the moment, I’m behind its tweets.  That’s not always going to be the case because after we work out a social media/online strategy, the responsibility might fall on someone else’s shoulders.  What I do know is whoever does it, it’ll be worth it for the Toronto membership.  Welcome Toronto TEFLers to the next generation, I hope.  Now, when to schedule the meeting to get his done…

Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) – My favourite author by far, Ms. Atwood’s online campaign consisting of a tour blog and tweets supporting her latest book, The Year of the Food, was a complete inspiration for how to integrate technology into traditionally paper-based culture.  It mirrors the Classroom 2.0 ideals I very much aim to do.  Plus, I’ve been forever wanting to use one of her books in my class and this series, including tYotF and Oryx and Crake, with its online support is right up my alley.  Now, about that third book in the series…

George Couros (@gcouros) – I don’t know George personally, nor have we ever really interacted (aside from one time when he commented that my memory of principals was “sad”–and admittedly it is), but I follow him because his tweets are inspiring.  As principal at an elementary school in Alberta, he seems to interact with students and teachers in a truly invested way.  Both his individual and Connected Principals blog posts makes me hopeful for the next generation of students.  Now, I need to work with admin staff in future workshops too…

David Dodgson (@davedogson) – Dave teaches kids English at a private school in Turkey.  This alone, matched up with everyone else on this list, easily demonstrates the wide diversity of contexts and experience from which I (or anyone!) learn from.  When I noticed how many from my PLN were part of his PLN, I took the time to look more carefully at his tweets and blog.  I’m very grateful because he’s helped me realise that lesson and classroom challenges are shared with others and collaboratively, they can be discussed together.  Now, I need to videoblog at least once…

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Kelly Sigler

What a great idea! I’ve been working to build my PLN slowly but surely, and I’ll definitely be adding some of these recommended Tweeters! Thanks!


Great list, Tyson… a few more to add to my PLN. Thanks for participating and spreading the love.

Mike Harrison

Hey Tyson,

First of all, thanks very much for the mention in your list. Very glad that I’ve been able to help (even if only a little bit with some Twitter/Facebook tips). I think all lists like this have to come with a disclaimer – it’s like #TeacherTuesday and #FollowFriday on Twitter, where there are just so many people you’d like to give a shoutout to but can’t fit them all in.

Particularly I like the non-ELT people you’ve mentioned. I think sometimes we can be a bit insulated in our EFLy, TEFLy bubble, and inspiration and useful stuff may be passing us by. I’m going to see if I can find any good local tweeters here in SE London to follow.

Mike =)

Now, about a guest post…

George Couros

Thanks so much for the mention and kind words. It is amazing how small the world is when you are willing to connect 🙂

By the way, I love the look of your blog. Nice work. Now added to my feed 🙂


Hi Tyson,

Honoured to sneak in at No. 10 on your list, especially as we haven’t been connected virtually for that long. I hope this list helps convince some other people to start using Twitter and other online networks for their professional development.

Thanks again. 🙂

P Martin

Hi Ty,

And where am I on this list? Oh right… Twitter.

Cecilia Lemos Coelho

Honoured and touched to be on your list and for your praise. Let’s get talking on that Toronto trip… I’m thinking you put me there just to sweeten me up. LOL! Kidding. Will be delighted if things work out. I’ve been learning and getting a lot from our interactions and exchanges as well Tyson 🙂

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