Superintendent Encourages Social Media To Further TPS Success

Tuesday, August 18th 2015, 7:19 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tuesday, Tulsa Public Schools’ superintendent launched a new online effort to get teachers talking.

She held a chat session on Twitter to get ideas and answer questions from anyone who wanted to take part.

Dr. Deborah Gist said she wants to give teachers and parents as many options as possible to communicate with her, but she's also favoring Twitter for discussions and encouraging teachers to get on Twitter to get into the conversation.

Gist is a longtime user of Twitter with over 12,000 followers.

"I've been on Twitter on for many years and I've noticed more Tulsa people joining, even more have started to join in the last few weeks," she said.

That's, in part, because she's using Twitter to engage teachers to give input.

Tuesday, she hosted the first totally Twitter based strategy session for TPS.

Using the hashtag "#successTPS" she asked for comments about how teachers communicate now and how they want to, going forward.

We talked as she typed about the power of social media.

"You have to use every possible avenue, including social media," she said.

In the last few weeks, Gist has used Post-It notes to get input directly from more than 300 teachers in face-to-face meetings.

Instead of a time-consuming convocation to start the year, she sent out a video that included some dancing.

8/18/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Leads 'Nae Nae' Dance

Now she's urging schools to use the tools of social media to inform and engage parents, and share best practices among teachers.

"Have a little chance for people to come together and share ideas and do some professional learning together," Gist said.

Gist plans to keep the conversation going with the new social media outreach on the first day of school.

While she's touring schools Thursday, Gist is also soliciting first days of school photos - encouraging people to use the hashtag #successTPS.