While teachers are usually great about sharing lesson plans, borrowing decorating ideas, and team planning, many schools attempt to recreate systems in-house rather than seeing what other districts have done in the region, throughout the country or even across the world.
With the world at our fingertips and education being forced into systematic change, the time has never been more perfect to work within the global education community to collaborate.
Find out what works and what doesn’t. Odds are that anything you or your school wants to try, someone somewhere has done something similar. There’s no need to go through all of the planning, trial, error, and revision. While some of this can’t be avoided, learn from the experiences of others.
Aside from propelling us all into the much-needed reforms in educational structures and procedures, this global pandemic has not only once again proven the societal value of what we do as educators, but it has united us across borders and empowered us with means of collaborating in ways most of us hadn’t taken the time to explore previously.
We are going to list some of our favorite social media groups in which you can meet teachers from around the world. Engage in discussion. Post questions. Share concerns. Help others problem-solve. While you're at it, schedule a Zoom meeting around a specific topic, and invite group members to log in and discuss.
Global Educator Collective: This is possibly our favorite group. This group was created at the end of February as a means for teachers to collaborate and support each other as schools started shutting down around the world in response to concerns about COVID-19. Originally called “Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning”, this group has over 128,000 members. The group is very organized with “Units” (“collations of posts and resources to help you with different topics around supporting online learning”) and with breakout groups focusing on various specific fields, such as:
-Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Teachers Balancing Parenthood
-Online School Closure Educator Support for Lower Primary and Elementary
-Career & Technology Educators Online Learning Collaborative
-Online School Closure Educator Support for the Canvas LMS
-Online school closure educator support for Gifted and Talented
-Online School Closure Educator Support for English (Upper & High School)
-SEN/SPED teacher support during closure
-Online Support for University and College Educators
Principal Principles Leadership Group: This virtual PLC for principals started in 2016 and has over 40,000 members. As with most PLCs, it is a combination of sharing facts, tips, inspirational anecdotes, links to resources, questions, concerns, and the occasional (much needed) bits of humor.
International Gifted Education: Education of the gifted and talented is as different from school to school as GT students are from each other. There is a rich history of psychological research and pedagogical practices, but teachers still struggle with trying to figure out what works best for their students. This group brings together gifted teachers and adults, along with teachers and parents of the gifted, from across the globe to have open, frank discussions.
Special Education Temporary School Closure Support: While every population has felt the impact of school closures, students and families who depend upon schools for special services have arguably been the hardest hit. Special Education teachers want to help their students, but struggle knowing how to do it. This group gives provides a platform for teachers from around the world to share ideas and experiences about what has worked and what hasn’t.
COVID-19 Parent-Teacher Learning Resources: There have been some pretty funny videos on social media of parents acknowledging how hard teachers work, begging for schools to reopen, even praying for help. In this group, parents and teachers of elementary students can work together to manage the complications that remote and virtual learning have brought. Parents, do you have questions you don’t want to ask your child’s parent, or frustrated that you can’t seem to get answers in a timely manner? Teachers, need to get a parent’s perspective on an issue or assignment? This is a great place for collaboration between parents and teachers.
School Administrator Coronavirus Planning Group: Whether you agree with the decisions to close schools or not, some of you probably feel like you’re the only one who sees it from your perspective. Or, maybe you’re afraid to voice your questions or concerns in your community. This group gives administrators a safe place to ask questions and share ideas.
Innovating Schools - Planning for After COVID (Futures Thinking): Schools have made the adjustment to finishing out the year with remote and virtual learning, making the best of an unprecedented crisis, but what happens in the fall? There are so many possibilities that it may seem completely overwhelming to begin planning after the immense stress of these last few months, but school leaders have no time to waste. This group invites brainstorming and discussions about schedules, curriculum, calendars, and much more.
Teachers Connect: Connect with other educators to get inspired, get ideas, and get feedback. If you have enjoyed the blog posts on the TFD Supplies Educator Panel, join our group. t has over 700 members, and it also has regional groups by state, too.
Please add to our list by putting links to your favorite social media groups for educators in the comments below.