Why is being connected so important?
I work everyday with teachers who feel isolated in their classrooms. They are told what to teach, when to teach it, and how it will be tested on the state assessment. They are faced with issues with limited ways to solve them. This frustrating feeling is difficult to escape and often times teachers (and other educators) can become discouraged and jaded about their profession.
Connecting with other educators and other classroom teachers can be the source of empowerment teachers need.
Suppose I was struggling to teach 3rd grade math… generally I would go to my other 3rd grade teammates for help. However, sometimes the issues I’m faced with are the same issues they have…so they are not a lot of help to me. Other times my 3rd grade team do a lot of things I would consider “old school” such as using the textbook or other materials they have always used…which is frustrating to me. Soon I become a negative, bitter educator on the way to burn out.
Generally this would be a big problem for a school or district, but not for the connected educator!
The connected 3rd grade teacher uses twitter and or social media outlets to get feedback from other teachers around or outside the district. The connected educator builds relationships with other people by attending UNconferences or edcamps in the area. The connected educator (through their PLN) visits websites, blogs, and watches videos to gets different ideas on how to teach these difficult concepts.
Being connected to other educators gives me hope and I feel empowered to take hold of these issues. Through the power of the PLN, I am able to build connections, collaborate with others, and solve my own problems (just like we want our students to do).
Connected educators feel empowered, not defeated. They are encouraged through their PLN and begin to share their successes with others.
Start thinking about why being connected to other educators so important to your role, job, or life.
Read some other people’s journey on being connected and why it’s important:
Here are some other places you can find about becoming a connected educator: