So many of my twitter followers ask how I came up with my handle, @MauiMickey. Some note the obvious connections to the island of Maui (my favourite place in the world) and to Disneyland (where my inner princess goes to escape reality), but there is a deeper meaning.
Mickey is the nickname that my Gramps gave me when I was born. Not once, that I can recall, did he ever call me by my given name, Michelle. Not once. I had a very special relationship with my Gramps and he was a huge part of my life, so his name for me was very personal. No one else called me by that name, and when he passed away, in a way, Mickey ceased to exist…until it became part of my online persona. My Gramps was always on the cutting edge of what was new…a new tv, a new car, a new computer…he wanted to know how it all worked and he was always interested in learning new things. Even at 90 he was still learning about the latest in computers and I know that if he had been alive when Twitter was invented, he would probably have had an account. He was, and always will be, my inspiration for being a life-long learner and, in some small way, I hope that I am honouring his memory when I use the name he gave me. I like to think that what I am doing with my #kinderchat family of teachers is exactly the kind of learning my Gramps would have been proud of. Blazing a new trail in education, so to speak.
I often wonder if I should have come up with a more “professional” twitter handle, one more becoming of a teacher, one that garnishes more respect. Perhaps I should still consider that? So many of the educators I follow have “normal” names, but mine is distinctly child-like…distinctly me, and perhaps appropriate for a Kindergarten teacher. I don’t recall who it was, but someone told me to keep @MauiMickey because it was memorable in the vast world of Twitter handles. I like being unique, so @MauiMickey it is. 🙂