My professional connections diagram above shows people who have impacted on my teaching practice in my first year of teaching and throughout my training. The blue lines are the connections I have made. The red lines are the areas which more dedication and commitment can be focused to expand my connections.
Goal one: Get out of school.
When I’d finished the coggle diagram above, I realised how closed my professional connections circle is. I rely a lot on those inside the school community and not enough on the vast world around us. We are becoming accredited into the International baccalaureate (IB) program which will give not just me, but the rest of the school the chance to make connections on an international level.
Benefits: I’m not the only IB teacher in the world. There are many teachers throughout NZ and the world who are in the same position as I am. This means I have a community to fall back on for support and guidance in the IB world. As the teacher, I have the chance to learn through the students as well. Allowing them to discover and learn through doing, I can observe and the students can also teach me what they have learnt.
Challenges: Can the world get too big? There is a lot of knowledge to be acquired when you increase the size of your school to global standards. The students and the teacher need to make sure they have a good filter on what knowledge is applicable to them and is not surplus to their learning goal. As the teacher, I need to be aware of this, constantly making sure that the goals are clear- however they could be evolving goals, changing as the inquiry continues.
Goal two: Get online.
As much as I say I am a technology-savvy teacher, there are still areas which I can focus on to extend not just my knowledge and connections, but the students connections as well. This goal could be used in conjunction with the IB from goal one. Using technology to find another IB class on the other side of the world extends the knowledge of many- me as the teacher, my class, the other class.
Benefits: Being online as a teacher gives many advantages- the ease of reporting, the motivation for ideas, communication with parents, the list could go on. The less paper used in the world, the greener the world is.It is about change. I am a teacher who is at the beginning of my career, I embrace change because it means that my students are getting the best of me that they can. It means that I am extending my practice and growing my knowledge about my practice.
Challenges: Being up to date with the different technologies for doing these different tasks. As a teacher, I need to know which are the reliable and legit methods of communication online. The other challenge is that to be successful technology savvy teacher, the others in your immediate area should be online as well- this means teachers, parents, students. This inter disciplinary knowledge comes with difficulty for some and with ease for others. Caution may be required.