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Several months ago, like back in February, I set up a Twitter account for Two Writing Teachers.

And then I let it be.

I thought about tweeting, but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it. Silly, I’m sure for those of you who are regular-tweeters. I hope, eventually, this admission will be a little embarrassing because I will get a handle on the genre.

It is a genre of writing, you know? I have to boil my thoughts down to 140 characters (or less). Some of it looks foreign to me too. There’s all kinds of symbols: @, #, :. I know what those symbols mean in other genres, but I’m still getting a handle on it in Twitter. Plus I’m still trying to figure out the purpose. Not to mention the audience, which is pretty much non-existent at this point. Then I’m left with figuring out my topic — really, what should I tweet about?

I wonder if our students feel some of this same anxiety when we introduce them to new writing projects. Genre, purpose, audience, and topic are all key decisions a writer must make. Before tweeting, I believed if I just explained these choices to students they would be ready to dive into a new writing project.

It’s not enough, though, to have an overview of a new genre. Nor is it enough to know what purpose, audience, and topic mean. I have to read several examples, mull over the choices, and lurk a little in the genre. Most importantly, though, I have to jump in and give it a try.

I’m a little nervous about tweeting correctly. I’m afraid about sharing my attempts with others. I don’t want to mess it up.

These are the reasons I’m sharing my Twitter adventure with you. I expect students to step out of their writing comfort zones and then to share their attempts with me. I guess it’s time I have a taste of my own medicine.

I’m not promising that I’ll be tweeting anything worthwhile, nor am I promising to have a long-term relationship with Twitter. However, I’m going to try. I’m going to play with an unfamiliar genre, publicly share my attempts, and experience first-hand what I ask of students.

Any advice is more than welcome, and if you want to follow me, you can find us @2writingteachrs. (If I knew how to link that to the Twitter page, I would . . . I’m serious about being totally green at this!) Wish me luck!



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

6 thoughts on “Tweeting? Leave a comment

  1. I asked my writing process class to post to SOL four Tuesdays during the semester. Many of them had never blogged or posted to a blog. The reactions were not all positive and it reminded me and I hope them of how kids feel when we move them out of their comfort zone. It is good for all teaching adults to experience what we ask our students to do each day. Go for it…don’t be afraid…no one will judge you…and you may inspire many!


  2. I am sad that I have lost touch with your work, ladies. I have missed all of the wonderful things that are shared and learned here. Grad work in educational technology and development of a quality PLN in that field has nearly consumed me. I use Twitter for much of that and now Twitter has allowed me to reconnect with you. Tweetdeck keeps me connected with my PLN and now it is allowing me to rebuild my connection with a great community of writers. Please use Twitter to highlight your resources, your posts, your links to members of your own PLN. Please consider creating a #hashtag that is unique to your writing community. With that hashtag, those of us in the Twitterverse can quickly access your posts. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being great at what you do and being determined to share your experiences.


  3. You’ll be fine. There is a learning curve, no question, but Twitter’s also a friendly place where you can ask for help, play around, and learn on your own tempo.

    I have a quick list of some basic Twitter terms on my site. It might help you with some of the lingo:

    Also, just think of Twitter as a conversation – what would you say to a friend you ran into on the street? what would you share with fellow writers? with students? with teachers? with others? Because despite the technology and the nomenclature, at the end of the day, Twitter’s just about talking with people….

    Oh yeah… and have fun!


  4. I remember feeling the same as you Ruth about Twitter the first time I tried it. I got Facebook faster because I arrived with an almost instant community of friends already on and former students I loved catching up with bit on Twitter I pretty much followed Kevin around watching him jump in and build a community of educators. I posted status updates but I was following more than I was followed and soon without a sense of community I left it behind until this summer when I attended an NWP retreat and connected face to face with an NWP community of tweeters and from that start it was easier to find my way back and get to the rich resources of links on Twitter and just the other day Twitter was revamped and made even easier to use. I find myself checking my twitter community sooner than FB.
    I hope those log response was helpful. It was fun to write


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