Sunday, September 22, 2013

The #MTBoS

Several years ago I joined twitter and didn't like it. I didn't get it. I left it.

For whatever reason, I came back and gave it another try. I found someone who suggested that I follow at least 100 people just to get a taste of what twitter is all about. 

I now follow 936 people (which is too many... I need to cut down) and have around 1500 followers. Twitter has become my own personalized professional development, and I know I wouldn't be in my current position without it. 

But lately there's been a new movement among some of the math teachers on twitter, and I think it's starting to get a bad rep. Starting with #TMC12, there's been some organization in the ranks. There have been a couple of efforts to get more people involved (which is awesome), a second TMC, a weekly Global Math meeting, and a multitude of different weekly mathchats. The acronym MTBoS (math twitter blogosphere) was adopted to represent this community. 

I'm sure it can be overwhelming for the math teacher new to twitter... But I'd guess much less overwhelming than encountering all of twitter without any guidance. 

These people have become my friends, and while I have distanced myself a touch because I'm not teaching math right now, I still follow and read their blogs. 

What got me thinking tonight was a post that @mgolding wrote about the website Teachers Pay Teachers (like Megan, I'm not going to link to it). I'm not a fan of the concept, but a couple of things stood out for me:

1. I love Megan. She's awesome. I don't like how she wrote a post about the #MTBoS disapproving of TpT. Honestly, it bothered me that she felt she could speak on behalf of all math teachers who consider themselves part of the MTBoS. I know there are teachers that tweet, blog, and for whatever reason sell materials on TpT. Will I buy it? No way. But that's their prerogative (cue Bobby Brown). 

2. One of the commenters on Megan's post didn't feel like she was part of the crowd. If you're a math teacher and you blog and/or tweet, you're in. There are no membership rules, no dues. You have to consider that a lot of these people have been working together (in real life or virtually) for years. But if you step up and join the conversation, find a math chat to participate in, make a comment on someone's blog, it's going to be that much easier to start forming relationships with people. So don't complain that you're not "part of the group".  This isn't high school.

9/24: Megan got a lot of feedback on her post. She's since added in some of the comments people made (both pro and con) and changed the focus from the #MTBoS to her. I applaud her public transparency. If you don't read her blog, please do so. She rocks.

Also, I first typed this on my iPad using the blogger app. Not a big fan. I'm editing now on my laptop.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, that's what I get for blogging in a place of frustration. I had no right to speak for the community. I live, I learn and that's the point, right? (catching up on my feed reader...slowly!)