Monday, 25 February 2013

The Importance of my PLN

As we complete the fourth week of our new school year I have been ruminating on the importance of my PLN in relation to my role as a classroom teacher.  As I stated in my last post I am starting this year on a new grade and one that I haven't taught in the last 15 years. My PLN both within my immediate school context (PLC & PLT) all the way out to the twitter sphere and beyond has been so important in so many ways so far:
- I have relied on my collaborative teaching partner's experience of teaching our grade for the last four years to help me through these first few weeks in relation to where our students have come from and where we are headed.
- I have drawn from the experiences and advice of others at my school who have previously worked with these children and on this stage.
- I have revisited posts from blogs on technology, blogging, inquiry learning, The Daily 5 and more for inspiration and innovation.
- I have been followed by and have followed educators who have so much to share.
- I have also been lucky enough to attend an inservice on educational coaching and high impact instruction with the great and inspirational Jim Knight where I have gained valuable insight and learning for my role as mentor to our school's newest graduate teacher. At this inservice I also met some of the educators I have been following and who are following me on twitter which is always a great moment.
- I am also looking forward to attending the GAFE Summit in Brisbane at the end of this term where I can connect with and learn from others and continue to build my PLN.
So how have I built my PLN over the last year?  By far the best thing I have done is to join Twitter.  I have found it invaluable for practical & innovative ideas and advice (some of which we have successfully implemented in our own learning spaces). One of my colleagues said recently that twitter levels the playing field so that everyone has a voice and is a valued educator. We have access to the advice and wisdom of experts in the educational field from all over the globe.  We can ask a question and receive answers and share knowledge and experience from and with anyone who sees our tweets be they the teacher in the learning space next door or a professor on the other side of the world whom we probably would never meet in person.

Attending our local Teach Meets has also been a fantastic way to build my PLN as has reading various blogs and joining social networks such as Pinterest,!, and Learnist.

I look forward to continuing to build and learn from my PLN this year and encourage anyone reading this to get out there and do the same.  It has definitely reinvigorated and enhanced my enthusiasm, learning and practice.


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