Raised by #wiamigos (6:365)

@principalj and her twitter son @drspikecook

@principalj and her twitter son @drspikecook

I often joke with Jessica Johnson and Curt Rees about their “parenthood” in my social media growth. Although it sounds funny, Curt and Jessica are great twitter parents. Recently on a facebook post, Amber Teamann actually thought I was from Wisconsin. I had to tell her I was a New Jersey guy, but Curt reminded me that I was raised by the #wiamigos. He was right!

When I first started out 2 short years ago, it was Jessica and Curt who really showed me the path of the elementary principal in the 21st century. I’ve written about this before, but wanted to revisit the concept from a different perspective.


I think about those who are starting out. Maybe they are making a New Year’s resolution to become more “connected” or they want to take their classroom or school global. If they are anything like me, I needed to see an example. This is main premise to this post….

You never know who you are going to “raise.”


Twitter bio – the first impression

The twitter bio could be the first step for someone to start following you. I’ve said before that Curt Rees had me at “recess kickball legend.” If you read my previous post about Mental Models, you can imagine my perception of what an educational leader could be…. a recess kickball legend? Right on!


The blog – window to the core of leadership

The next step in potential social media parenthood is the blog. I can remember spending a great deal of time during January of 2012 reading through Jessica and Curt’s blog posts. I learned about what they valued, what they challenged, and more importantly, what they highlighted. Both trail blazed a path of positive, student-centered and professional growth that solidified why I wanted to be an education blogger.

Curt’s #worldbooktalk review on Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson


wi amigos

Christian, Jessica, Leah, Tom and Joe

The connections – paying it forward and back

Since both Curt and Jessica played such a profound role in my development, I would include them on my tweets, blog posts, and questions. From there a professional connection grew. Eventually, the relationship grew to the point where our sharing was mutual and all three of us learned from each other. At some point I moved out of my “parents” house, and they have been there every step of the way. I can only hope that I will one day mentor someone so that they can grow their own digital footprint.


I am proud to be raised by the #wiamigos! In addition to Curt and Jessica, the other #wiamigos I have actively learned from are: Pernille Ripp, Tom Whitford, Christian Pleister, Joe Sanfelippo, Matt Renwick, Jay Posick, and Leah Whitford!


Who were you “raised” by? Share your story with our PLN…

2 thoughts on “Raised by #wiamigos (6:365)

  1. Spike,

    I’m continually impressed by all that you, your staff, and your students do at your school. Thanks for sharing all of it and helping me learn from that work.


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