Monday, November 11, 2013

I think to have a successful PLN we have to commit to a certain vulberability. What I mean by this is that we have to make ourselves and our thoughts available to others both in our workplace and outside our workplace, and online. We have to be willing to engage in academic talk while also maintaining a certain level of professionalism and honesty. I think that developing a PLN can be extremely helpful for new teachers as it is essentially a support system; it is a way to help us build confidence, learn from more experienced educators, and be inspired by great teaching. However, I think that developing a PLN takes effort and carefulness. As new teachers, we are being most "watched" by other teachers, our administration, and our students' parents (or so it feels). Therefore, we need to be on our best behavior; in my opinion, we should fulfill our Principal's expectations of us as teachers, professionals, and respectable adults. I am slightly worried about engaging in online PLN such as twitter because I do not feel comfortable with my middle school students viewing my activity. For this reason, I stay away from blog-type social media sites. I know that there are ways to up privacy settings however, I know my students will likely know more about these types of things than I will. I want to know how to engage in private online blog groups--is this possible? Also, I am truly aloof when it comes to searching the web--I do not really know how to find a meaningful blog. How do I find teaching blogs and how I do sort the good from the bad?

Key Takeaways:

  • Step 2 is focused on creating a list of professional development needs that we feel are not being met. However, currently, we are not really "hired" new teachers. Therefore, I would likely want to make a list of needs that I would like to be met as a first year teacher--i.e. the kinds of supports I feel I will need or want. 
  • As far as meeting with other teachers to talk about school needs, issues, or concerns, I would like to include a variety of teachers in this social group--teachers outside of my discipline and even of diverse grades (elementary school teachers and high school teachers)
  • As a new teacher, I would like to integrate my learning goals for the school year into my PLN so that I can reflect periodically. This would allow me to self-monitor my progress and make changes as necessary to meet my goals. 

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