My Professional Learning Network

Standard 8: Educators contribute to the profession.
Educators support, mentor or encourage other educators and those preparing to enter the profession. Educators contribute their expertise to activities offered by their schools, districts, professional organizations, post-secondary institutions or contribute in other ways.

My Artifact:

This is a screen shot of my twitter analytics.

My Reflection:

I believe that maintaining a personal learning network throughout my career is the best way to constantly assess and reflect upon my teaching. It is an opportunity to share what I have learned along with the mistakes I have made and to learn from others successes and failures as well. Through the teacher candidate Gmail account and Facebook group I share lesson plans, interesting articles, and tips or tricks on things such as classroom management, creative writing, and teaching different subject matter or specific texts with other teacher candidates in my program. During my practicum I shared resources with teachers in the staff room and my lesson and unit plans with my sponsor teacher.

I am currently tweeting as @msbayles to connect with teachers around the world. As a new teacher, I know that there are many things that I will only learn through experience, so why wouldn’t I want to hear from people who already have that experience? I know I still need to learn things the hard way, but it never hurts to have some support along the way. In fact, it has already been such a great help and I think it is improving the level of enjoyment I am getting out of teaching. I really enjoy teaching and I think part of that is being able to share with and relate to other teachers in my PLN via twitter. My posts are a way for me to reflect on my own teaching and the thoughts of others on everything related to education. I am living vicariously through others’ experience and am constantly being inspired by others. I am constantly learning.

I finally had my chance to add even more to the conversation this week when I shared the link to Show World on twitter. I went from someone who gets maybe 10 hits a day (when I post a new blog entry on twitter) to receiving over 1,000 hits in four days. I shared something that I thought was of value and others saw the value in this and they shared with their networks and so on and so forth.  That is why I think twitter is amazing. I have reached over 1000 people indirectly with one little message of less than 140 characters. The most amazing part is that it was a former teacher of mine who shared it with me. She still continues to educate me and is helping me educate others!

This is all important for my teaching career because it allows me to access a wide network of professionals from around the globe. By sharing resources and personal experiences we are able to cater our curriculum to student interests and needs by learning what has worked in other classrooms. That being said, all resources still need to be customized to the individual teacher and classroom dynamics, but overall sharing and reflecting with other teachers will keep me informed of new research and make me more aware of my own practice on a daily basis.

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