Happy Birthday Hubby! A Lesson On the Value of Teacher Collaboration

In honor of my hubby's 45th Birthday, I am writing this post on Teacher Collaboration!

A few years ago, I was sitting at home talking in an AOL chat group for teachers.  We were discussing the state testing and sharing our frustrations on having to take precious time away from our instruction to administer the tests.  At one point in the conversation, someone asked everyone to share what they taught, their grade level, and their location.  I quickly responded with my information, and just after I hit enter, I saw another contributor's information pop onto the screen, and he was also in Kentucky!  Small world!  "Where are you in KY?" I asked.  Two and a half years later, we were married!

So what is the value in teacher collaboration?

I will not guarantee everyone will find their future spouse through online collaboration, but I do have many other ideas on the benefits of "following" the crowd!

The benefits of online collaboration are many.  In simplest terms, you can share ideas for classroom organization, student management, parent involvement, and of course, classroom resources.  Teachers are also sounding boards for one another, just as we were doing in those early days, helping one another get through the stresses of the teacher workday.

And getting involved in the online world is so much easier now.  Some of the earliest chat rooms were difficult to navigate and were often filled with those not really interested in the posted topic.  But now, thanks to a number of modern resources, finding those who can bring you the greatest information is just a few clicks away.   My suggestions:
  • Search for professionally designed and maintained blogs that discuss your subject area, grade level, or other teaching characteristics.  (You can find wonderful ones on the right side of this blog post!)
  • Find collaborative boards on Pinterest and build up a network with those who contribute ideas that will enhance your classroom. Here are a few to get you started:
  • Investigate Linky Parties and other collaborative events by your favorite bloggers that can lead you to other online sources that will enhance your knowledge base.
  • Participate in contests to help navigate your way though networks of established online presences that can be valuable to you.
  • Friend colleagues or other Facebook posters that share ideas that could help you find the resources or advice you need.
  • And most importantly, find and learn all about TpT!  TeachersPayTeachers started right after I met my hubby, and I joined it right at the start.  It has been a blessing in my life in so many ways.  For you, it can be the time-saving tool you need to help you make through those challenging days when you just don't now what to do.  
 Oh, and one other important piece of advice... Don't just troll the blogs and Facebook pages, but participate.  We are not each islands of information.  All of our classrooms will be so much more incredible if we all share our thoughts and ideas with one another. 

Can you just imagine the relationships you could make!

And who knows?  Maybe you will meet your sweetheart!

Happy Teaching!

Michele Luck

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