Te@chThought‘s Day 22 Challenge is: “What does your PLN look like, and what does it to for your teaching?”
My PLN (Personal Learning Network) is composed of people I know face to face and amazing people I have never met in person, but have received tremendous support and encouragement from online.
My local PLN has a few key players who are always pushing the envelope of innovation. They encourage me in trying new things in my classroom and in my own life. I would not be pursuing my Masters degree without these people in my life! My local PLN has many dedicated teachers in it, but also several non-teachers. I have benefitted deeply by seeking out the opinion of people who are not classroom teachers because they are able to often add a perspective that is missing when you only interact with colleagues. Some of my PLN are the parents of former students or of students I have never taught, one is my husband who sees things with such clarity, and others are friends who are connected with schools in some way but do not work as teachers. I am grateful to have people who are willing to share their ideas and opinions with me.
My extended PLN is mainly my Twitter community. I do not have a huge group of “followers”, but I have been lucky enough to connect with some amazing educators, parents, and administration who are eager to pay it forward. Twitter is also great for actively learning from people who are sharing out their ideas and work publicly for all to benefit, not just close friends. I feel grateful to have found a few people who will frequently respond when I post a question or I need help or ideas. I love the energy that is present on Twitter – once a conversation gets going, people jump in from all directions! Twitter chats are a great place to grow your digital PLN. Some of my favourites are #bcedchat, #mschat (middle school chat), and #BYODchat.
My other source for my PLN has been my Masters cohort. We’ve become quite close, and can count on each other for support as we learn together.