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#GoodNewsCalloftheDay: Guest post by Mary Casserly-Smith

When I saw Mary's first #GoodNewsoftheDay tweet, I was reminded of a practice shared by a librarian on LM_Net some years ago. She made a habit calling a parent and sharing a positive thing that has happened in the library with that parent's child the last thing she did each school day. Ah, a reason to look forward to seeing the school in the caller ID!

Anyway, Mary has taken this a step further using Twitter and I asked her to share on the Blue Skunk as a guest post. In Mary's words:

My first tweet was August 18, 2009. The reason I know this is because it was about Brett Farve signing a contract to be the quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.  My tweet was something about how we would now be able to win that elusive Super Bowl championship.  Well, we now know we didn’t, haven’t, probably never will, but I digress.

I have long since deleted that tweet. What I did keep is my participation in Twitter. I am a Digital Learning Specialist in an elementary school and I have found it to be a very useful tool in my profession.  It is a convenient professional development tool. I have learned a lot of innovative ideas that I could implement in my classroom almost immediately.

Also, I have also found it to be a great way to connect with families by showing what we are doing in my classroom and school.  Last year I noticed my former principal tweeting what she called a, “Good News Call of the Day,” or in Twitter language, #GoodNewsCalloftheDay. She took a picture with a student each day, wrote in 140 characters, or less, what fabulous thing that student did that day, and then made a phone call home to tell the family about it. She said it was the highlight of her day, so I decided to give it a try this school year.

She was right, it is the highlight of my day. The students love getting their picture taken with me, they beam with pride when I tell them why I chose them, and then the icing on the cake is the phone call to the family.* The first minute or so is always tense. As I am telling them who I am the the silence on the other end is deafening. I can only assume that they are waiting to hear some sort of bad report, and when I tell them the reason for my call it is pure joy and happiness. I am thanked over and over for the call.  

No, we still don’t have a Super Bowl championship but I am having so much fun using Twitter it feels like I won something!

* I do check our student information system to be sure I have parental permission to post photos of the child.

Mary Casserly-Smith

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