Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


What does "20K Followers" mean?

I used to want tons of followers. I was excited when more people followed me.
Then I became intimidated by the number of followers going up. I thought I really had to watch what I shared. I still watch what I share, but it's always been a professional account, so I don't really worry that I'll slip up. Much.

So... What does "20K Followers" mean to me now?

It means...

-My words, thoughts, and ideas are viewed my many.
-I am followed by men seeking women. (This is fairly new. Hubby and I get a kick out of it.)
-I am followed by companies as part of their advertising.
-I am followed by Harlem GlobeTrotters for some reason. (I'm not even a lefty...)
-I am asked to speak more often - and I have to remember that my own students and family come first. (By the way, head to #USMSpark in Milwaukee, WI while I'm still in school on June 11-12 and #NEXTSchool conference in Montreal while I'm camping with my niece and nephew the week of July 30th!)
-I am asked to moderate educational chats. (I've asked many educators, as well.)
-I am asked to retweet "please vote for my class" ideas (see why I won't retweet many here).
-I am asked to read books. (I've asked a handful of educators to read Shift This before it was published, as well.)
-I need to be an even better role model for my students than ever.
-I will continue doing what I'm doing - educators must find some value in it.
-I will continue to share other educators' ideas more often.
-I will continue to share ideas from my own book, along with other books that have transformed my teaching - I have a wider reach now and if other educators implement these ideas, students will benefit, and we won't run into so much resistance!
-I will continue to share my own workshops and presentations - again, so other educators implement these ideas, and students will benefit!
-I will continue to try to lead in these ways, by modeling what I think it means to be an educator.


  1. Happy 20K, Joy. I've often wondered how you manage your Twitter. The 20K followers I get, you are a source of inspiration for so many, but how you manage to follow 8000 odd people? I struggle keeping up with 150. Is it more of a bubble? Do you mostly respond to tweets/mentions and follow specific hashtags?

    1. Hi, Abe! I remember when Karen Liernman came to Chicago - all the way from British Columbia - and we had dinner (like old friends, even though we'd only met on Twitter). I was following about 300 at the time, and "knew" it was "too many." She said, "You're still following your feed?" Well, of course! She then told me about TweetDeck...... I now have a crazy convoluted system. No, I don't see your tweets all the time - unless they're tagged #tg2chat or #ttog. Yes, I do check my feed every now and then - when I have down time. But I'm a crazy list maker, and the lists come in handy when I create columns for TweetDeck. I couldn't stop at 300, so here's how I do it: Most of the time the tweets/mentions and hashtags (along with my "first" list) are enough to keep me busy. :D

    2. That is a pretty comprehensive answer. Thanks for sharing, Joy. I am still very much following my feed and it almost feels like I'm the gatekeeper of content and connections. Twitter has been transformative for me over the past 12 months, however, I don't think my viewing habits are that healthy or sustainable. I need to change and this seems like a sensible way forward. Here's to 20k more followers!