Networking is Important for Educators too!

The educators I have worked with over the past four years have shown me how resourceful teachers are. Some affectionately call it stealing from each other, but really it is collaboration and sharing. Some of the best educators I know take ideas from everywhere: their home life, other teachers in their school, online, from Pinterest, the list goes on. I learned a new term for this collection of people and resources this week, a professional learning network (PLN). So I took some time to map out my own PLN.

PLN including Colleagues, Social Media, School Connections, Family, School District, and Publications/Associations. Created by Lindsay Luft on mindmup.com.

I have two odd groups, Publications/Associations and Family. I combined the Publications and Associations into one group because these groups send out monthly or quarterly magazines. For family, my dad’s side is mostly educators including administration, teachers, and support staff from preschool through college. When we have family reunions it becomes “shop talk” quite quickly!

Luft Family Reunion from 2014. Eight pictured and two not pictured are educators.

This exercise left me feeling very grateful for all the experiences I have had to expand my PLN. I have so many places to draw inspiration and resources from or ask for help if I need it. Tanya Menon mentioned in her TED Talk The secret to great opportunities? The person you haven’t met yet how if someone with low socioeconomic status feel threatened, they think their network is smaller than it really is (2017). If I am struggling in the future I hope I remember my PLN map and can find the best parts of my network to draw from for that specific scenario.

References:

Menon, T. (2017, March). The secret to great opportunities? The person you haven’t met yet [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/tanya_menon_the_secret_to_great_opportunities_the_person_you_haven_t_met_yet

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