#kinderchat is where it’s at!

  1. This is a summary of the excellent chat I had on Twitter tonight with kindergarten teachers and administrators. The topic of tonight’s discussion was building relationships between principals and teachers. If you have never participated in a chat on Twitter before, this is a great one to start with. I use the TweetDeck app to follow the hashtag #kinderchat so I can see the chat feed, mentions and messages all at the same time.
    I also saw this chat as an opportunity to try Storify. It is a web-based tool that allows you to document a conversation you have on social media. This can be very helpful, especially when you cannot keep up with the frenetic pace of a lively conversation online.
  2. MauiMickey
    Q1 what do you appreciate most about your admin…or your teachers? #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:06:36
  3. mattwachel
    A1 I appreciate Ts that have passion and dedication to do what is best for Ss, even if that means challenging the status quo #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:07:37
  4. glaweezy
    @MauiMickey as a first year teacher I appreciate that my admin has been open with me and approachable #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:07:38
  5. maninkindy
    I appreciate when my admin step up and take the slack for me. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:07:49
  6. timlauer
    I appreciate the professionalism and commitment that they show in their work and the care they have for their students… #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:07:58
  7. AntionettePayne
    My admin are very approachable. They also join us for choir practice on Fridays! #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:08:01
  8. Matt_Gomez
    @mauimickey I appreciate trust and willingness to try new ideas. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:08:17
  9. HowePrincipal
    I appreciate that my teachers are there for our students. All the other stuff comes second. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:08:44
  10. happycampergirl
    As PT admin/curric coach, I appreciate teachers who don’t bat an eyelash when I come into their rooms. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:12:55
  11. Matt_Gomez
    I appreciate admin that read and follow @toddwhitaker He has the perfect philosophy IMO #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:17:08
  12. What I am impressed with is the participants’ various backgrounds and experiences. This is what makes a Twitter chat such a powerful learning tool. You cannot recreate this in the school setting alone.
  13. MauiMickey
    Q2 Teachers…Do you like it when your admin visits your class? Admins…do you like visiting during the day? #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:16:29
  14. maninkindy
    A2 I love the visits. It gives the Ss chances to show their learning and bring them into the play. It is awesome. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:17:56
  15. MmeHibou
    #kinderchat Q2 – I love to have admin visit during my lessons! I love their feedback; it’s helpful as a pre-service to have that support.

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:18:46
  16. timlauer
    Q2 I greatly enjoy visiting rooms. Spend most of my day there. Take my laptop &/or iPad and hangout for good parts of the day… #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:18:53
  17. JenFriske
    #kinderchat hi all! Jen from Alberta.
    A2: LOVE when admin comes into my room. Invited him into my room today to discuss recycling w/ K’s

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:19:17
  18. KelliB12
    A2 I think a relationship of trust has to be built then all the merrier but come in and play don’t just watch. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:19:32
  19. HowePrincipal
    A2: My goal this year: Be in classrooms 25% of the time. Mostly by reading to kids and instructional walks. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:20:10
  20. Vendram1n
    A2. I love visiting. @jpulvers sends groups of sts 2 visit, read&take funny photos using photo booth-Gr8 2 build relationships #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:20:27
  21. VillageSr
    I love visiting classes…Kg in particular. MUST make more time for that! For me, personally, it’s energizing…. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:21:35
  22. principal_kelly
    Q2 – divide responsibilities with vp so that part of each day is spent in classrooms – iPads with Evernote is awesome for this! #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:21:49
  23. muffydm
    #kinderchat. It’s important for Kinders to see admin. It makes admin seem like real people to them. LOL

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:21:55
  24. One of the biggest benefits of #kinderchat is, as a principal, I get a teacher’s perspective on things. It helps me put myself in their shoes.
  25. MauiMickey
    Q3 What is the best way to build community at the school between staff members…and/or students. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:25:08
  26. timlauer
    Q3: We hold our staff meetings in different classrooms. Allows teachers opportunities 2 share with one another. less isolation #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:35:40
  27. Fr_Immersion98
    Agreed RT @KelliB12: Nice touch @mattwachel RT try to leave a sticky note addressed to the class about something I observed. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:36:56
  28. teachermeg
    A3: Also think it’s important to include support staff (kitchen/janitor/engineer/office/etc) as part of the school community. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:33:01
  29. happycampergirl
    My boss connects us to learn from ea other. Someone needs help w/lit groups, she sends them to observe tchr w/great lit groups. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:32:43
  30. timlauer
    Q3 I think community is built on relationships. Getting 2 know your staff & students is key. Also helpful when challenges arise #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:32:15
  31. KelliB12
    A3 -Food always works. Building a school community through Pete the Cat. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:32:11
  32. teachingtammy
    A3 knowing people’s names – especially support staff building community. Pictures on wall? Def time outside of school together #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:31:08
  33. What I am trying to do with Storify is curate the tweets that resonated with me, ideas that I may want to apply to my own practice. I can then come back to it later, as well as share it with another group of educators.
  34. MauiMickey
    Q4 What are the greatest obstacles for building positive relationships in schools? #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:39:13
  35. glaweezy
    @MauiMickey A4 in our school its almost too big 600 kids more staff than I can name and 4 admin communication breaks down #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:42:04
  36. Vendram1n
    A4 our school is huge and complex with inner city challenges. 515 kids, 40 staff. Lack of time is my biggest challenge. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:42:50
  37. HowePrincipal
    A4: Getting caught up in the things that have no bearing on student learning. Try to keep discussions on what matters. #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:43:14
  38. VillageSr
    A4. Time, how our buildings are built, more ‘open space’ needed or the licence to get out of our own rooms. Buddy Classes Rule #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:46:44
  39. MmeKathleen
    If all staff members TWEETED and VALUED it, it would be so much EASIER to share IDEAS!!! #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:45:53
  40. mrsmelva
    #kinderchat our wellness committee plans we pick & choose – progressive suppers, ladies/men’s night baby showers fish Derbys BBQ games nites

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:48:39
  41. rbellw
    I meet with all teachers weekly. Sometimes for PD sometimes for team building. Always for relationship building and culture! #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:48:14
  42. timlauer
    @VillageSr we have made an effort to let our classrooms spill into the hallways… benches and reading nooks, also a garden… #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:48:03
  43. happycampergirl
    @tiahenriksen I have known admins who were afraid of K. FACE YOUR FEARS! Come learn what we do! #kinderchat

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:55:46
  44. After the chat was done, I exported the tweets I curated to my blog here on WordPress. It was an easy way to create a quick post.
    I think Matt Gomez ended the chat well with his tweet below. I agree that we are only as smart as the people we surround ourselves with, and #kinderchat will definitely raise your IQ!
  45. Matt_Gomez
    @mauimickey The smartest person in the room IS the room. #kinderchat peeps have a large room full of smart people! #globalteam

    Mon, Nov 19 2012 18:49:08

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is an 18-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th-grade teacher in Rudolph, WI. He now serves as an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District (http://mineralpointschools.org/). Matt also teaches online graduate courses in curriculum design and instructional leadership for the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD (www.ascd.org) and Lead Literacy (www.leadliteracy.com).

One thought on “#kinderchat is where it’s at!”

  1. Hi Matt,

    Was nice to take part in #kinderchat with you last night. Love how you captured the experience with Storify. I plan to share this technique with my staff. Am fortunate to have several that have jumped into Twitter. Tools like Storify make it even more valuable.

    Also thanks for the inspiration you provide with your blog. Reading your blog helps me to clarify my thinking and has provided me with several great ideas to encourage reading and literacy development with my students.

    Best wishes,
    Tim Lauer


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