A Post for the Principals New to Twitter


I have previously written about how powerful Twitter in several different posts: My #1 Recommended Resource, Expanding my PLN on Twitter, Is Social Media Taking Away from Personalization and Relationships, and The #WIAmigos are at it Again) Anyone who knows me knows that I always promote the power of building your PLN (Professional Learning Network) through Twitter.  Principals have a lonely job being the only one in their position in their building, but by connecting with others on twitter, you are not alone!

I recently read a post by Tom Whitby, To Whom Should I Connect?, and was also having guilt about not recommending people on #FF (#FF is for “Follow Friday” when people tweet out recommendations of people to follow).  Twitter is great, because I find something new every time I check the feed, however, what’s even better is knowing the strengths of each person I follow so that I know specifically who I should go to with a question in that area.  I do follow over 3,000 people so I must say I don’t know the strengths of all of them.  In the past month I’ve started getting quite a few principals started on twitter so I wanted to share a page of recommendations of who to start following and why (some is copied again from this post).

Educators in Wisconson (we like to refer to ourselves as #WIAmigos)…

@CurtRees (Curt) – for RTI questions, because his school is a model school for RTI and has presented at a couple of conferences.  He is also a tech guru, currently getting his Doctorate with an emphasis in Technology Leadership and is one of the Techlandia Podcast crew.  As a principal he also does a great job of keeping his parents/community well informed through his school facebook and youtube channel.  He’s also been a principal far more years than I have so I call on him for general advice as well (along with his knowledge of random songs/movies from the 80′s).

@PosickJ (Jay) – his school was one of few that went 1:1 with chromebooks for their 4-8th graders and has some great tech gurus in his district.  He doesn’t tweet much other than how far he runs everyday (which also is motivating for me), but he hasn’t ignored my direct messages or emails.

@ReadbyExample (Matt)  is an awesome elementary principal focused on literacy and is a grant-writing guru.  His blog is filled with incredible information and often writes posts for the Stenhouse blog.

@Joesanfelippofc (Joe) is a Superintendent doing some incredible work in his district and leading his staff to be connected learners. I’m always amazed how many teachers I see from Fall Creek joining in on the #educoach chat each week. You can find out even more about Joe in this post.

@twhitford (Tom) a fellow elementary principal with great ideas and is constantly learning with others on twitter. I’m not sure if there’s a chat he doesn’t join in on, but he loves to talk PLC.

@Leah_Whit (Leah) another fellow elementary principal who also happens to be Tom’s wife. She is constantly reading, learning and sharing on twitter. She just recently started blogging and I look forward to what she has to share.

@ChadHarnisch-is a connected High School principal with a great deal of experience and lot of wisdom to share. He recently presented at a conference about how all of his teachers were teaching literacy in the high school…not just the English teachers.

@chadkafka (Chad) who is my go-to guy for anything google, because he is the google guru! He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.  He used to lead the MobileReach podcast to share all kinds of great apps and advice for integrating mobile devices in education, but now has the Teacher Tech Talk Podcast.

@Taml17 (Tammy) who joins Chad on the Teacher Tech Talk podcast and shares awesome tech tools/tips. I love following her website to see what she’s presenting on.

@pernilleripp (Pernille) who started the Global Read Aloud project and is so reflective on teaching in her blog.  She is so sincerely honest about her practice and giving the classroom back to the students.

@gunnellAP (John) a middle school principal who took our #WIAmigos connections to the next level by starting the Sunday night (at 8PM) #wischat.

@jgulan (Jeff) I connected with Jeff at a conference to hear about how his High School went 1:1.  We have remained connected since then as our school embarks on this journey.  He has even volunteered his time to skype with our tech committee to talk more about their experience and answer any questions that we have had along the way.

I’ve met almost all of these colleagues in person at conferences.  If I hadn’t known them from twitter, I never would have sought them out at the conference to chat with them…I would have just attended sessions by myself.

Educators out of Wisconsin…

@mmiller7571 (Melinda) a principal from Missouri who started a podcast years ago that I found by chance and enjoyed learning anything I could about being a principal.  It was her podcast that led me to learn about twitter and online, 24/7 PD opportunities.  She also has far more years of experience than me so I’ve called on her for help with a variety of admin questions.

@shiraleibowitz (Shira) and @KathyPerret (Kathy) who both co-moderate the #Educoach chat with me every Wednesday night.  Shira is a Rabbi/Head of School in New York with a wealth of knowledge (how else would I connect with a Rabbi?) on coaching teachers versus just evaluating them.  Kathy is a very well trained Instructional Coach in Iowa, also with a wealth of knowledge.

@NMHS_Principal (Eric)  who is very well known of across the country for having his New Jersey high school utilize social media. He was recognized by NASSP as a Digital Principal Award Winner.  I’ve seen video clips, news articles and blog posts about him and his awesome school.  This past year I got to meet him in his person and hear him speak at the ASCD Conference (wrote about here). He has a new book, Leadership 3.0 that will be coming out in February I believe and I highly encourage all principals to get it when it’s out!

@patrickmlarkin (Patrick) was the principal of a Massachusetts high school has been in national headlines for going 1:1 with huge success (now he’s an Assistant Superintendent). He’s also known for being the 2012 NASSP Digital Principal Award Winner.  I’ve podcasted with him on the EdAdmin show and enjoy learning from his experience.

@Joe_Mazza (Joe) is an elementary principal well known for using social media to strengthen home-school partnerships.

@8Amber8 (Amber) is an elementary assistant principal in Texas who is constantly sharing great ideas for integrating technology.  If you’re getting tired of learning about technology, then she can talk fashion or Tory Aikman 😉

@L_Hilt (Lyn) was an elementary school principal in Pennsylvania and is now an Instructional Tech Coach. She is an incredible leader on integrating technology.

@Eduleadership (Justin)  A former principal, now director of The Principal Center. He has taught me so many organizational/time management tips to keep up with the crazy amount of workload a principal has.

@Cantiague_Lead (Tony) Principal of an Elementary School that has been awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award. I connect with Tony frequently on all things leadership and literacy.

@DrSpikeCook (Spike) another Elementary Principal that I don’t think ever sleeps!  He is always sharing his great ideas and I recently had the chance to hear him and some of his teachers speak at ASCD as his school was featured in ASCD/MCREL’s new video series on Classroom Instruction that Works.

@LeaderandReader (Mindy) Another elementary principal that I love to learn from. She is a true lead learner, constantly sharing her ideas on leadership, leading a literacy school, and Daily 5.

@casas_jimmy (Jimmy) A High School Principal full of energy, great ideas and known for being a HS Principal of the Year in Iowa. He started the #IAEdchat to connect the Iowa educators on Sunday nights at 8PM.

@plugusin (Bill) I recently heard Bill speak at a PLC Institute and learned so much that I attended two of his sessions. Bill is a middle school teacher that has written several books and is what I consider a PLC guru, yet he’s a “real live bonefied active teacher” (not an administrator).

@rondmac (Ron) a  principal that has a lot to share in regards to school leadership.

@hopeleaders (Raul) who I actually had the pleasure of working with during my 1st year as an assistant principal in Arizona. He was an awesome principal that taught me almost everything I know.  He’s now a principal coach in his district.  Even though I moved across the country, I can still keep learning from him via twitter.

@TeacherCast (Jeff) who started TeacherCast in New Jersey, which provides great podcasts to learn from, along with many other great resources for teachers/educational leaders.

@akevy613 (Akevy) another Rabbi/Principal with many years of leadership experience that I enjoy learning from.

Educational Gurus…
How else could I continue learning from my favorite Educational Authors or even ask 1:1 questions of Todd Whitaker“The Sisters”Jim Knight, and Donalyn Miller.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jan Seitz

    Thanks for the remarkable list- As I’m just getting started on Twitter – this will be very helpful!

    1. principalj

      Twitter can be overwhelming at first. Please let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help.

  2. Tom Whitby @tomwhitby

    Jessica, it truly is ironic that my post inspired you, yet I do not warrant a recognition. You did create a pretty impressive list.Inspiring educators to connect. All #FF should offer a reason to follow the recommended educators. People should also understand that they can unfollow anyone as easily as they followed them.

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