No one is fully self-sufficient. As humans we need care, support and encouragement from others in order to thrive – this is especially true in a profession like teaching and we could all do with a decent teacher network or two!
Chances are when you started teaching you probably tried to do it all on your own. You read the books, did the courses, created your own resources and planned tirelessly in the effort to become the best teacher ever. Though that approach has its merits, understand that there’s a better, more sustainable approach to teaching out there. Luckily for you, the internet provides a phenomenal platform to connect with flourishing teacher networks all over the world.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have super supportive colleagues and even if you do they too have their limitations. Building a teacher network could drastically improve your teaching practice because you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and find individuals that can help you. If support, improvement, entertainment and connecting with like-minded professionals sounds good to you, here are some online teacher networks that you should check out.
Twitter Teacher Network
#Teachertwitter #Edutwitter #Educhat
Twitter aims to connect people and allows them to share their thoughts on a global platform. The hashtags TeacherTwitter, EduTwitter and EduChat bring educators from all over the globe together. They unite to discuss interesting topical issues, offer advice and support and even promote job opportunities! It’s a platform where people share links to events, interesting articles and new research data so it’s a great way to stay connected. You are able to follow live discussions, so it’s easy to stay up to date on what is happening in education right now and the best thing about it is that it’s absolutely free.
You can just follow the hashtags and find topics that you enjoy but if you’re completely new to #TeacherTwitter here are three awesome people you can follow:
John Magee is a positive speaker, author and mentor to leaders of education who is committed to spreading kindness in schools.
If you’re an NQT and need assistance navigating your career, MrTs_NQTs is your guy. He is an experienced NQT mentor and uses his platform to share all the tips and tricks he has learned on his journey.
KyrstieStubbs, the ‘TattoedHeadTeacher’, brings some edge to education. She is passionate about diversity, equity and the wellbeing of pupils and staff and dedicates her platform to tackling these topics.
Facebook Teacher Network
Facebook for Education was designed to help educators connect with like-minded people, build community, discover anti-racism resources and discover new tools that will support them as they flourish in the new school year. The group has over a hundred and twenty thousand members so there will always be someone to help you.
When you’ve had a challenging day in the classroom where nothing seemed to work out, a little reassurance goes a long way. Logging on to a Facebook group full of teachers sharing their school day woes helps you remember you’re not alone and gives you the much-needed encouragement to carry on. It’s the perfect place to vent about all your teacher frustrations and share a virtual woosah with teachers from all over the world.
Join the Teachers Ask Teachers community and share stories, ask questions and seek advice on all education-related topics. This Facebook community of teachers has very strict admin rules to ensure the space remains inclusive, positive and supportive. There is no such thing as a silly question so feel free to ask away. Enjoy the friendly support, light-hearted humour and inspiration!
Podcast Teadcher Networks
No matter what part of the world you live in there are some fundamental truths that apply to all teachers. Teaching podcasts are a great way for teachers to get some much-needed teaching advice, inspiration and entertainment. You are able to learn about interesting topics without having to set aside precious hours of study. We know most teachers are crunched for time, so podcasts are perfect because they can be easily added to your daily routines. You can listen while you exercise, during your commute or when you’re doing house chores. To save you even more time, we’ve picked out three incredible teaching podcasts you can start listening to.
Education On Fire Podcast
Passionate educator Mark Taylor created the Education On Fire Podcast to “inspire you as a teacher, parent or mentor, to support and nurture children to live, learn and grow to their full potential”. Mark interviews different educators in his episodes and allows them to share their expertise with listeners. The average episode length is about 40 minutes which is amazing for a busy teacher schedule. Some of the episodes are geared towards primary teaching but there are still some gems to pick up along the way for all teachers. Anyone working in education can benefit from the tips and inspiration offered in this podcast.
Are You Convinced? Podcast
Are you a debate lover? If you are, this podcast will be right up your street. In each episode Ndidi Okezie (CEO of UK Youth) and Laura McInerney (Co-founder of Teacher Tapp) are challenged to persuade each other to see an education-related issue in a completely different way and they only have 30 minutes to do it. As well as convincing each other, they also have to convince guest experts who are invited on the podcast to bolster or challenge their perspectives. Each lively debate is concluded with the magic question… ’Are You Convinced?’. The heightened pressure makes this podcast very entertaining and may even make you reconsider your own views. You can take part in the educational debate by following #AreYouConvinced on Twitter.
Behaviour Bites Podcast
Behaviour management is a skill every educator needs to develop. The Behaviour Bitesize podcast is hosted by Clare Edmondson and explores the wide range of factors that influence behaviour in education. Clare invites education experts to share their knowledge and advice to teachers. The aim of this podcast is to give teachers helpful bite-sized gems that are easy to implement in their daily practice. All the episodes are roughly 15 minutes long which is ideal for busy teachers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the incredible teacher communities we suggested. Develop your skills, grow in confidence, gain new perspectives and strengthen your professional connections by building your teacher network.
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