TET 715 Blog Post 6: Collaboration Locally and Globally

Being a younger teacher I have not spent much time thinking about sharing my teaching styles with those outside the walls of the school. I feel like it is hard to share with other teachers when I am still trying to figure out who I am as a teacher myself. There are a few times though where I have taken the time to get on the computer and share with others what I have been doing in the classroom. I share with those outside the classroom what has been working for me and what has not worked so well.

At the local level I have taken many opportunities to send emails with projects I have completed in my TET degree program at the University of South Dakota. The one I am most proud of was a short video that highlighted some of the new technologies teachers can use in their classroom to save time and be more responsive for the students. In addition to that video, I have also taken the time to just talk with other teachers who are willing to listen about new web tools I have used that live up to the hype and those that fall flat.

Outside of my school, I have participated in some  Twitter chats with professors and former classmates using the hashtag #eloned. Most of the people participating in these chats are either professors or teachers who graduated from Elon in the past five years. On this forum I could share examples of things I was doing in the classroom. I would also share why these things did or did not work. For example, I shared with my former classmates the disaster of a lesson I created when students were asked to teach a lesson on their own. I shared with those on the Twitter chat why I took the risk (I had read about it in one of the books assigned for my masters) and why it failed (I did not provide enough scaffolding). Through this conversation, we discovered how that lesson can be improved in the future so students can be better served.

Moving forward I want to take the time to participate in more of these Twitter chats. It is so easy to do and every time I participate I take away great insights. It is also encouraging to do them because I am able to see that there are other teachers taking risks in the classroom just like myself. Besides Twitter, I want to start taking advantage of blogging. After reading my classmate’s blogs as well as the blogs by Larry Cuban I am discovering what a great tool they can be for educators across the world to collaborate and share ideas for the classroom. I know there are other new teachers who could benefit from the lessons I have learned in my first year of teaching and I plan to share those lessons on a new teacher blog I create once school starts up again.

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