Tonight's Flipclass Twitter chat is on the importance of an educational community.
Community can be found in many places. Before I found Twitter, my educational community were those I have worked with or friends that became teachers.
This is fine and dandy, but once I discovered Twitter....the educational community excited me. It light a fire within me that I hadn't felt in some time. There were new ideas, books, thought, and pedagogy out there!
Educators need community. We need to have our ideas valued and heard. But more than that, we need to grow as educators. If you are standing still as a teacher or administrator, I honestly feel like there is something wrong there. We, as educators, need to continue the learning. We need to model life long learning to our students. The best way I have found is through community, or Personal Learning Networks and/or Communities (PLN/PLC) .
For me, community comes in many forms: real life on campus, Twitter, Voxer, and Google +. Each have their own merits and I use each of them differently.
My real life PLCs on campus know me in and out of the classroom and my current situations. They are with me day to day with the struggles of the curriculum, students, crazy schedule days, etc. They are the ones I can be open about the ins and outs of the day.
Twitter is my professional development I can get anywhere at anytime. I love my Twitter peeps! I can ask questions, share stories, get ideas, and discover the new and up in coming in education. Twitter has pushed me to be a better educator in ways I didn't know existed! Twitter opened my mind to the world! There are so many that I admire, and I hope I inspire a couple like I have been! Without Twitter, I wouldn't have applied to be a Google Certified Teacher (and got in!!) in 2009. I wouldn't have discovered the WEALTH of knowledge through Edcamps and conferences, which I was encouraged to apply to present. I wouldn't have discovered Teach Like a Pirate, flipping the classroom, EduMatch, EduPuppets, and so so much more!! I have made a wealth of edu-friends that are as near and dear to me as my day to day friends.
Voxer is the way to actually talk and chat with mini communities. Granted some of those communities are large, but it feels small. Here is were conversations with educators spark new ideas, create projects, and even chats on the spot! It has reinvigorated me to take those Twitter conversations and make them deeper and even more meaningful-which I didn't think is was possible!
So long story short....get out there and connect! ANY community is better than zero community! A connected educator is a better educator! We are better together! Teachers do NOT need to be an island any longer! We are a community of passionate educators who care about our students and staff and what we bring to our profession!