Secret Teacher: I refuse to be a Kardashian with a PGCE

Writing in the Guardian, the latest Secret Teacher says social media has brought out our vanity and self-pity, with superstar teachers and their uncritical followers creating a toxic culture of one-upmanship.

I used to love going out on a course and learning stuff. The chance to meet new people, share resources, get ideas and a free lunch. The best continued professional development (CPD) these days is online, or so I’m told. From interactive conversations on Twitter to webinars, now it seems I have to maintain a presence online in addition to a physical one in the classroom and staff meetings.

…I pretty much keep myself to myself, but the teachers on my news feed are a vocal bunch who fall into two distinct categories. First we have the moaners. I’m sure we all fall into this camp at times; sharing posts about how the profession is undervalued, ever-moving goalposts, endless meetings, new policies, thinly-veiled swipes at colleagues and students: “I wish some people would read their job description”. These people use cryptic posts to invite comments like, “U OK hun?”…

If moaners take pictures of all the books they have to mark, the second group – the swots – take pictures of the books they have marked, uploading comments such as “100 books in 40 minutes! Got through three pens, lol #doingitforthekids”…

Teachers on Twitter are scarier than those on Facebook. They are wonderful and well-meaning professionals who have taught me so much, but many of these teachers practice symbolic violence. Some do it by shamelessly self-promoting, some pick fights with smaller fish and some deploy intellectual snobbery. I’ve witnessed hard-working teachers torn to shreds because they’ve dared to challenge a celebrity teacher on Twitter. Onlookers pick at the carcass by retweeting their support. I’m all for debate , we all have our own ideologies, but let’s do this in person…

My digital interactions from now on will reflect who I am. I am a teacher, I am not a brand. I will not be a Kardashian with a PGCE. RANT OVER.

More at: Secret Teacher: I refuse to be a Kardashian with a PGCE

 

Any validity to this criticism of teachers on social media?

Do you find it an added stress or distraction, or find it useful and helpful?

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