As I sprinted towards the finish line of summer vacation, I knew I needed different. After being inundated with 3 never-ending years of back-to-back-to-back graduate work and induction coursework, I was done - literally and figuratively. I existed purely in a physical state devoid of mental expression, creativity, and thought (i.e., like that dude from Get Out). I felt like I had turned on the autopilot new-teacher feature and hadn’t gotten ahold of the steering wheel ever since. The only glimmer of escaping this funk and taking control of the driver’s wheel existed in three little letters, CUE. These letters would lead me down a path of self-discovery, great awakening, and enlightenment.
During the school year, I had been fortunate to experience CUE. Prior to attending this life-altering phenomenon, I was oblivious as to what this organization stood for, its ability to connect, or its mass following. I thought I was attending another local teaching event - continental breakfastesque. You know . . . the kind with the stale muffins and “fresh” fruit? I won’t get into the fine details of what I saw or experienced (i.e., that’s reserved for another post). I will share that I was wrong - completely and unequivocally wrong!
The event changed my life. One more time, the event CHANGED my life! I didn’t see thespians acting like they were engaged only to secretly follow the tune of the tick-tocking clock. I saw raw, unfiltered passion radiating from educators. The ideas flowing, the relationships being established – I wanted that and more! I wanted to break the restraints and release my soul into this foreign world. I left the conference longing for exploration of the unknown, to see the great wonders of the teaching world (i.e., something about a teaching pirate?), and to taste the fruit of thy Twitterverse.
As I returned home, I was in a daze as I tried to make sense of all the moving parts. I told myself I would focus on one thing I learned, hopefully, avoiding spontaneous human combustion. Thus, I hyper focused my energy on establishing myself on Twitter. This is one of the greatest modern-day tools for educators. I knew I had to make the most out of this valuable resource; however, I first had to figure out what a hashtag was. After about a month of hanging out on the shallow end, I decided to muster up the courage and make my way to the diving board. I admit my first attempts were belly flops (e.g., engaging in Twitter chat by myself because I forgot to include the #nameofthechat, making my account private without even realizing it, etc.); however, my will didn’t falter. I wouldn’t allow that!
Roughly 3 months have gone by since I took my first leap in the deep end. To date, these months have gone unrivaled in my professional development and innate desire to learn. When I needed help, the rock stars reached out and stopped the flailing (e.g., Carrie Baughcum, Tisha Richmond, Norma Gamez, Glen Irvin, Ivan Kaltman, Marilyn McAlister, Kirstin Greig, Melissa Pilakowski, and Jesus Huerta to name a few). I have seen the potential that exists within Twitter, and I am completely hooked. Twitter is the modern-day OASIS – a doorway to a globally networked community of educators.
As I strap on my haptic gloves, enable my VR Visor, and get ready for another plunge; I can’t help but wonder if Twitter is ready for me? Twitter, my name is Andrew Arevalo. However, you can call me @gameboydrew. I am here to stay, learn, and connect! Let’s go!!!!