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A Personal Learning Network (PLN) can help you learn through other people’s mistakes because, let’s face it, none of us can make all of them. A PLN consists of “experts” or “veterans” and “newbs” in a vocation, such as teaching. These people come together in an online community and share ideas and stories. They share what works and what doesn’t. They are able to ask questions and give advice. PLNs give teachers a community to share and question, to brainstorm ideas, and to use as springboards for success.
My journey through PLNs has mostly taken place on Pintrest. I can tell you that my boards are getting larger and larger because of all of the things I’ve been finding in my subject, English 7-12. I love so many of the ideas and I hope to use them in my classroom, you know when I have one!
PLNs help you make connections with professionals and build relationships because there is always someone there to answer you your questions, share their stories, and chat with you about your problem. They can help you collaborate and learn from professionals and “experts” and help you develop professionally. With PLNs, people are able to share new perspectives. This means that I can share what I think about YA Fiction with a thirty year vet (English Ed) and he/she will take my thoughts into account, not just flick them off.
While building my PLN, I searched for English Teachers and PLNs on Pintrest. I found more than enough to to give me plenty of ideas for my classroom; not just in reading material or assignments, but also classroom management and decor. There is also advise about how to teach easily distracted students. These are professional teachers with professional pages, for the most part. I think that I can use them as sources to informally develop my knowledge of teaching.
I think for most new teachers, a PLN is a good thing to have. New teachers can use this source to help develop a creative and safe classroom. They can also use them to share their experiences and mistakes with other new teachers; situations that they will also encounter in their own classroom. They can share what works and what does not. They would be able to chat with “experts” and learn from their experiences.
Using PLNs is a great source for new teachers to learn how to run their classrooms and teach others new styles that work in theirs. No teacher, no matter how long they’ve been on the job, will say “no” to new, good ideas.