If Spike Cook is theoretically my “twitter father” for having gotten me started, Jessica Johnson is the person I can thank for actually having made my first experience or two engaging enough to stay.
I read Jessica’s blog long before I used twitter. Nearly a year before I began my connected educator journey, my dad emailed me a blog post (that honestly I don’t remember what it said, only that I found her blog interesting and helpful for a teacher looking to move to administration.) When I started with twitter I looked up some names I knew, organizations I knew, and of course I found @PrincipalJ!
Luck would have it that in that same day I started on twitter and followed Jessica, she was having a chat for her teachers to learn twitter as well. She was patient, encouraging, and fixed all my twitter mistakes so that I could participate in the chat. Since then I have grown to know Jessica quite a bit better. I have seen her podcasts, asked her for advice, and connected with her on Voxer.
The more I hear from Jessica the more I understand why she was voted Principal of the Year in Wisconsin last year. She brings such an amazing perspective to her work and combines it with knowledge and experience to create one incredible principal. It is not just that Jessica is great at sharing, she is also great at helping others find their voice.
She could have ignored me on that first day. She could have just focussed on the people in her school. Instead she took the time to encourage me, make me feel as though I had a voice. I am not sure what my twitter experience would have been if she hadn’t done that for me. I am not sure if she even realizes that she did it. But, I would bet she has done it for plenty of others as well. Thank you @PrincipalJ, without you my twitter journey might have been drastically different.