In 2015, at the urging of a friend, I jumped into my first Twitter chat with Dr. Mary Howard. Her recent book Good to Great Teaching was the focus of the chat. Several teachers in the chat were beginning a book study on the side using Voxer, and I bravely asked if I could join. Mind you, I was a lone teacher in a small town in Montana, and the teachers in the group study were in New Jersey. I was thrilled when they said yes! Little did I know how completely life-changing this small move would be, and the incredible Professional Learning Network that would unfold in the years to come!
Fast forward four years, and I am still in touch with my #G2Great “cousins.” When the book study ended, we simply couldn’t close the Voxer channel – we had developed close friendships, and even began adding new friends to the group. Their weekly Thursday night chats are still going strong, and while my schedule now doesn’t permit me to join in every week, I know that whenever I have a question or need another perspective, there is always someone in the group who will lend an ear and offer support. This core group of friends continue to be an irreplaceable cornerstone to me both professionally and personally.
What is so exciting is that my virtual connections have continued to flourish! I have connected with new friends through Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers, and have even ventured into writing poetry with fellow poet-bloggers on Poetry Friday.
Most recently, I joined a Voxer book study around the book Stop.Right.Now.: 39 Stops to Making Schools Better. The book is excellent, but even better, within the first couple of days, I made three connections with fellow kindergarten teachers. In the short three weeks we have been sharing in this book study, I have reached out to each of them for support around classroom management struggles I have been experiencing, as well as a much-needed boost to push my learning to the next level with Seesaw.
Through my ever-growing PLN, I continue to meet incredible like-minded educators who are always willing to share ideas, offer support, and even brainstorm around potential collaborative work. The future looks bright here in my little corner of the world! With arms reaching out from all points near and far, I look forward to continuing to grow as the teacher-learner I always want to be.