The Battle Against Isolation: Joining the Connected Community

“Who is helping you get better, or–more importantly–who is inspiring you to want to be great? (Whitaker, Zoul, Casas, 30).”

“What Connected Educators Do Differently”

Teachers face one of the more interesting work environments. Each day they come to work surrounded by people.  As a result, teachers are constantly communicating, collaborating, and interacting with students, colleagues, and administrators. Yet for many teachers, they feel isolated and alone as they work tirelessly to support and guide their students. Why this feeling of loneliness?  The time teachers spend with their colleagues, and adults in general, is extremely limited. Although collaboration and PLCs have become a staple of today’s schools, teachers are still spending the vast majority of their work week alone with their students.

One of the biggest results of this isolation teachers are facing is that it leads to the feelings there is a lack of support, an absence of new ideas, and the need for inspiration. All three of these are crucial ingredients for the growth of teachers and it is the reason why so many teachers get stuck in ruts. The quote above came from Key Connector 3 titled, Embracing the Three Cs: Communication, Collaboration, and Community, in What Connected Educators Do Differently. The authors discuss how social media can create that community that teachers are searching for that will help them to continue to grow and develop as educators.

As I have said so many times before, Twitter was a game changer for me professionally. It provided me with a community of educators who were willing to share, learn, and grow together. I gain the extra support, a steady flow of new ideas, and so much inspiration as I see other educators throughout the world doing amazing things that I want to duplicate in my classrooms. Whether it is through Twitter, blogging, Facebook, Pinterest, Voxer, or any other form of social media, it is important for teachers and administrators to know and understand the power, possibilities, and advantages of being a connected educator. By becoming a connected educator teachers can fight back against the isolation they face on a daily basis and become part of powerful community of learners that goes well beyond their classroom, school, and even district.