It is crazy for me to think back to the time when Twitter and I weren’t friends, but when I really think about it…it wasn’t that long ago. We are actually coming up on our 3rd year friendaversary.

Like so many educators that I meet, I didn’t want to have anything to do with YOU. I was in a new job, beginning a masters’ program, raising my family and trying to just keep my head above water. I DID NOT have time for one more thing.

But it happened. I remember when we met…March of 2014. We were introduced by my new colleague, Dustin Ellis. He kept trying to connect us; he really thought you would be good for me. I didn’t want to, I didn’t need to, I wasn’t going to do it! But then…it happened. I begrudgingly made an account. We met that day, and then we departed. I left you hanging…for months. To be completely honest, I forgot all about you, probably because I just didn’t understand you.

But then we met again. October rolled around and I was off to a workshop with Rick Wormeli to learn all about Standards Based Grading. Dustin was not able to join us on this trip, but was interested to learn alongside of us. He encouraged me to give you another try. That is when it started…with one simple Tweet. There were so many amazing nuggets of wisdom in that weekend and I wanted to share them with him…so I tweeted them.

There were so many amazing nuggets of wisdom in that weekend and I wanted to share them with him…so I tweeted them.

I am pretty sure he and the colleague I was with were my only followers. So it felt safe, like a private conversation. Well, of course it wasn’t. Next thing I knew, other people in the room (who I did not know) were “liking” my tweets. WHAT? Some were “retweeting” them. What does that even mean? Then people were replying. WHAT DID I DO?  What do I do? Hmmm…this was interesting to me. I could have intellectual conversations with people I don’t know? And I could do it from behind my screen? This is perfect for an introvert like me!! This relationship may just be of value to me. BUT THEN…Rick Wormeli himself replied!! Ok, this was too much! Then others joined in the conversation and I started gaining “followers”. Why were they following me? I didn’t have anything to share. But, in that weekend, I had my first “switch flip” moment. I realized that everyone has something to share and people need to hear from others. We are all #BetterTogetherCA.

I think about what happened after our “switch flip” moment. How we went from strangers to life long friends. It didn’t happen in an instant. As with any relationship, it took time. After I realized that you were in fact good for me, I took baby steps – with hesitation. At first I did a lot of “lurking” and consuming of information. I checked in on you every now and then to see what you had in store for me. I’m a little slow to warm up, so when I finally felt comfortable, I began taking tiny steps. I would retweet things I liked. That was easy and non threatening. Then after I felt comfortable with that, I tried to reply to someone else. That was taking a risk but I wanted to see what happened. Someone replied back to me. and my confidence grew from there. I began following more people, gaining more followers and eventually joining twitter chats. Now I credit you, Twitter, for connecting me with some of my favorite people, people that I call my “tribe”. For that I am grateful.

One of the most powerful things about “Educational Twitter” is that it flattens the walls. People are so responsive and supportive, no matter their role or title. It is like we are all part of this large family whose ultimate purpose is to do what’s best for kids. People share freely, bounce ideas off of each other, celebrate each other and offer morale boosts when we need it.

People are so responsive and supportive, no matter their role or title. It is like we are all part of this large family whose ultimate purpose is to do what’s best for kids. 

It is crazy for me to think about how far we have come together, and how much power you have had in my life. You have expanded my learning, increased my circle, extended my reach and helped me to grow forward like I never thought possible. Once we understood each other, we were powerful, together.

I now understand what Dustin saw in you! My wish is that others will learn to love you, like I have, and just jump in and enjoy the ride. I want them to understand that they are in control of this journey, and they’ll get out of it what they put in. They get to choose their level of involvement with you. I want them to feel this magnetism you have, the way you draw people in. They just need to take a chance on you, and they will realize it too.

Some of you may be wondering, “What the “Tweet” are you talking about?”  Twitter is a game changer. My call to action is to just give it a try. There are so many people out there who are willing to walk with you through this journey of the unknown.

Twitter is a game changer. My call to action is to just give it a try. There are so many people out there who are willing to walk with you through this journey of the unknown.

I am one such person.

Stay tuned for my next blog post “Let’s Chat” which will dive into the next phase of the Twitter journey – the Twitter Chat!

-Cori Orlando

Cori was a K-4 teacher for 14 years and currently works as a TOSA (teacher on special assignment) in Simi Valley USD. Through her belief in #failforward, she encourages others to step outside of their comfort zone and #riskforward. She is also Google Certified Educator Level 1 and 2, #cuerockstar teacher and co-moderator of #SVTChat, #SVTBook and #VCHSchat.  Cori’s Blog Site: http://leadinginlimbo.weebly.com/