This week we began our learning in CEP810 with a personal brainstorm on Professional Learning Networks, or PLNs. We were asked to use a type of technology (new to me, maybe not to others) called “Popplet” to create a web/map that reflected where we go to find information related to our work, and who we go to for it. Since I am still waiting to be recalled back to my district (keeping those fingers crossed 24/7), and haven’t started guest teaching yet, I decided to make my map based on what I was familiar with based on the last two years when I had a classroom of my own. However, some of my popplets could definitely apply to a guest teaching situation as well – the Principal, other staff members, and staff lounge, for example, are all great resources for finding out more information related to education.
In thinking about it, I found that I mainly rely on colleagues, committees, and the internet when it comes to gaining information related to my work. I found that my principal and office staff have great, specific information on items like evaluations, incorporating teaching methods, etc. My colleagues, and especially grade-level team members (there were 7 of us last year who taught 2nd grade), definitely provide the best insight for me as far as curriculum goes. I can count on them to offer advice and suggestions on best practice and to make sure I am not missing anything (a common fear as a new teacher – did I forget something majorly important that I might not have noticed??). I would go to committees to gather information that pertains to the world outside of curriculum – like resources/events to support students and families, ways to promote a positive atmosphere across all classrooms, and how I can get parents more involved. The internet helps me a lot with curriculum and planning as well. I access the SmartExchange often to find fun, interactive lessons for the SmartBoard related to content I am currently teaching. I use the Oakland Schools/Common Core sites to make sure I am on the right track with my reading, writing, and math units of teaching.
Please feel free to take a peek, and share any other resources YOU rely on in your building. I would love to hear what kinds of resources others count on, and add more to my personal PLN!