Let me start by saying I work at a great school. I love my coworkers. We genuinely care for our students. We work well together. I would go out of my way if I thought I could help one of them. And I know that most would do the same. In fact, we routinely reach out to help one another. We are family.
But, that isn’t enough for me. I need more.
That’s why I have made connections beyond my school and district. I have a need to see what others are doing. I want to see what works on the other side of my state, my country, even my world. I want to see how other teachers are dealing with Common Core. I feel better when I discover that teachers everywhere deal with underachieving students. I don’t feel so alone when I can connect with another rural math teacher to discover that we both have the same issue getting homework completed.
My connections are about so much more than I can put into words. I share what works and what doesn’t. I have found new teachers that are actually asking questions about pedagogy. (By the way, I didn’t know what that actually meant until just about a year ago.) I feel that after 23 years in the classroom, I just might have some knowledge to share before I leave this profession. I know I still have a lot to learn. I am so thankful for teachers that are willing to share with me.
So, when I am in the teachers’ lounge, I talk about my online connections. I know many of my colleagues don’t always understand why I get so excited about tweeting with people I have never met in person. I know there are teachers everywhere that don’t connect online with others. All I can say is that being connected gave me a boost of self-esteem that I didn’t even know I was missing. Join me, let’s chat. I bet we will find something very interesting to share.