Sep 20, 2016

Connecting with Fellow Educators

In a school of just thirty-nine students, six teachers, and ten additional staff members, collaboration is constant. We have team meetings, faculty meetings, PBIS meetings, and teacher meetings. But the focus of our collaboration is our students' social and emotional state (and hopefully growth). I often crave the company of other English teachers.

Luckily, just a click, hashtag, and app away are thousands of other teachers who are more than willing to share their ideas and expertise. A couple of years ago, I attended a workshop with Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, who introduced us to the Facebook group that goes with their huge book Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading. Since then, my online interactions within the teaching world have overshadowed my personal use.

As so many of my teacher friends are not aware of these amazing resources yet, I wanted to share the love! See you there!

Facebook Groups 
The awesome thing about Facebook is the timing--you can post any time and people can reply at any time. Also, there is no word/character limit.

Notice and Note Book Club
High School English Teachers Support Group
6th-9th Grade ELA Teachers

Twitter Chats
First of all, if you're going to participate in Twitter chats, you have to use TweetDeck -- it'll change your tweeting life. I don't use Twitter at all personally--I just could never get into it--but Twitter chats are great and I set my calendar by them.

There are hundreds of Twitter chats; you can find one for you with a simple Google search. Some of my favorites are

Reading blogs is my absolute favorite form of online sharing. I like that it can be done on my time and I get the most in-depth explanations. I use a blog reader app/website called Bloglovin' to curate all my apps so I don't have to go to dozens of webpages to check for updates. Bloglovin' also allows you to save and share posts, and organize your blogs into groups. I like this feature to separate the teaching blogs I follow from the personal style blogs, lifestyle blogs, etc. I have the app on my phone and iPad so I can read blog posts when I'm waiting in line at the bank or sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's or while watching TV at home.

You can see the entire list of blogs I follow here but some of my favorites are:
Moving Writers
Three Teachers Talk
The Curly Classroom
Eat Write Teach
Room 213
Bespoke ELA Classroom

This one is new to me. I discovered it through one of the Facebook groups, but its quickly becoming a favorite. I like being to able to interact with other teachers seeing their face. Its easy to watch/listen to while doing other things--riding in the car (not watching it, obviously, unless you're a passenger), grading/planning/sending emails, etc. The down side is you can't interact with the person unless you're watching live.

The Secondary Scope Series

What is your favorite way to interact with other teachers? What awesome resources am I missing?