Are you involved in any communities in the education field … which ones? What effect does it have on your performance as a teacher?

Communities of Practice & Professional Learning Communities –

Both of these methods of learning and socializing rely on the involvement of other members within the same field of employment.  As adults in the work force, we often learn most from those around us.  Our colleges help to bring new ideas to mind.

A CoP occurs in the education field all the time.  Many times they are purposeful while others are just a result of a community of educators looking for support.  One common form that I have run into while teaching pre-kindergarten is being a member of a  data team.  In my case the data team met once a month for about twenty minutes.  Prior to the meeting each teacher would collect data in a particular learning area for all their students.  Then at the meeting we would compare the result from all the classes to see the strengths and weaknesses as a hole to better help implement instruction and improvement for all children.

However such groups of educators do not only exist in the classroom and school, but they are everywhere.  Due to technology, educators are able to interact with other educators around the world.  With such advancements, teachers are better able to understand and teach a wide range of students and concepts.  Blogging has become an increasing tool for educators and others to communicate with others to ask questions and share ideas and information.  Through a blog an open communication is possible for anyone who wants to join the conversation.  This means that the knowledge achieved through such a source is limitless and unimaginable.  As I find blogs I love I feel as though I become to really know the individual creating it, and become so enthusiastic to implement their ideas into my curriculum.

A PLC is very similar in my eyes to a CoP.  However, my best relation to it would be the discussion board for our class.  These boards are designed to help the student critically think about the research or data supplied and then create an analis of the results or provide research supporting a particular opinion.  Then it asks for the other members of the class to embrace other individual’s thoughts and believes and really create a full understanding of the ideas supplied.  Through throughly analyzing the work of each other we are better  able to understand other members of the educational field and the future of our field.

In both situations the goal of the community is to create a better understanding and knowledge of the field we work in.  The education field is constantly changing and can differ from state to state or even town to town.  With this said it’s increasingly important to stay connected with other members of the field to understand and prepare for the future of our careers as well as to be the most successful teacher possible.

Another amazing tool available on internet is Pintrest.  Through the use of Pintrest I feel as part of a community sharing so many great and exciting ideas for the early childhood classroom.  Being able to receive regular blog updates I am able to stay connected with particular member of the early childhood field.

Another community that I am a member of is the Association For The Education Of Young Children, Inc (Haeyc) in Hartford CT.  Through this community I have an opportunity to meet so many other members of the early childhood field and bounce ideas and concepts around, receiving so many different opinions and feedback.

My final project will relay on the use of the SmartBoard but I am still unsure of what extend.  I have considered doing a unit study of a particular subject of a particular area of the world or children from a different state.  It would be amazing for the students to interact with other students through such a technology.  Kind of like the idea of pen pals!!!

A resource I plan referring to is …

Allen, K., & Cameron, E. (2008). Interning in an Alternative School. Knowledge Quest, 37(1), 50-57.

Great Resources of the Use of SMARTBOARDS in the Early Childhood Classroom:

-Ghttp://guest.portaportal.com/smartboardfun

http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/ctm_technology/mar09_classroom_comes_alive.shtml

Are you involved in any communities in the education field … which ones?  What effect does it have on your performance as a teacher?

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4 thoughts on “Are you involved in any communities in the education field … which ones? What effect does it have on your performance as a teacher?

  1. I am involved in a few different committees within the college where I work. One committee’s sole purpose is to create a guide to help all undergraduate students master APA formatting. This is a very interesting committee because it has a wide range of people in this educational organization from deans to professors in the graduate school. The deans work with the policy statement that will show all students that APA is mandatory in all courses, and the graduate professors are able to help us look ahead to what the students will need to know about APA in graduate level courses.

    This committee is very close to me as I teach freshman English, and APA is not even a part of their vocabulary when they first start college. Most students have been working with MLA format together, and APA is a huge surprise and challenge. Creating a tutorial document to help my students has given me this piece to add into my own classes, but also has helped me with what I really need to be teaching the students. I look back on past assignments to see what aspects of APA that students are having issues with most of the time. I try to include these issues throughout the English course to help all students. In the end, being a part of this community has made me look hard and what the freshman need to know about APA coming into the university and also what they will need to know as a future graduate student.

    • Katie,
      I love that you are apart of a program that helps individuals to learn the needed skills for APA format. I have struggled with spelling and grammar for ever, so having to focus on such aspects of my paper and really understand all the steps for proper APA can be quite challenging. In my undergraduate I did not have accessibility to such programs so I have spent a lot of time trying to learn the format on my own. I feel that this is something that you must have a lot of practice with and I know I personally don’t. I feel like my sister spends so much time helping me to reformat my papers in order for it to be completely proper. However, last module I felt like I really gained a finer understanding since the course really broke down the creations of my final paper. It allowed for me to really concentrate on key aspects a little at a time.

      Kimberly

  2. Hi Kimberly,

    I really love your blog! It is a fun and friendly environment that is also very child friendly! In my preschool, we meet up once a week for about an hour discussing and collaborating concerns or issues we may have. We talk it out and try to collaborate on a solution to help make the classroom flow more productively. We also will talk about our students who have special needs during this time, relay what data we have collected, and find solutions on how to help them progress more effectively with minimum behaviors or tantrums that they may have. I really am happy that we meet up once a week because it gives us an opportunity to voice out our concerns, and work together as a community to better our environment, and make sure our students come first. If we did not have this, then I think the atmosphere would be much more stressful and disjointed. By having this community, we are able to talk to one another as a professional, builds up our confidence, and makes us better as a person and as a teacher! I absolutely love PLCs, and believe in them 100%.

    I love your project idea. I think that is fascinating trying to have your students become pen pals at such a young age. I think this will help them become more empathetic towards other people from different areas, and learn that there is life outside of their backyard, and by having a pen pal, it will show them just that! I hope you follow through with this because I think it is just remarkable and admirable! Great job!

    Ashley

    • I am not sure about other areas of teaching but I feel like the early childhood community tries incredibly hard to become a close knit team. It seems as though many teachers and staff in an early childhood setting regularly get together to help and plan together. This continued support helps for us to see the bigger picture and look at all areas of the curriculum or behavior issue. Through a new set of eyes so many new ideas can be created. I have to wonder if all areas of education work as closely together. It is one aspect of the early childhood field I love!

      Kimberly

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