One theme I have been thinking about for the past few months, especially for early career teachers is isolation and the power of social media and technology to fight the isolation that many teachers feel. Many teachers leave the profession early in their careers because of many factors, one being isolation. They don’t want to “bother” others, or don’t know who to ask. Mentoring programs have been designed to help assist in “induction” of new teachers, but I wonder what the success rates of these programs is in the long term.
As an early career teacher at a small school with only one teacher per grade level with no formal induction program, social media and technology have helped me to fight a feeling of isolation that many early career teachers face. Whether I am looking up an article on the ASCD website, following a Twitter stream, or continuing a professional relationship that I have developed at a conference. Technology and social media have assisted me in over coming professional challenges that I have faced, and continue to push my thinking, and keep me in tune with the latest research and methodologies.
Unfortunately, not all teachers are able to harness the power of social media in the same way that I have. There are many issues but the biggest one I hear about is time. Many young teachers have high aspirations and feel over scheduled already, where are they going to find the time to do one more thing.
How can we as a community support teachers in finding value in the collaborative community that is available to them?