Teaching can be a lonely profession, especially if, as is often the case, you are the sole teacher of ICT or Computing in your school. Whether you’re on your own or part of a team, I’d thoroughly recommend joining a community or several. Why?
You’re not alone
The next time someone asks you to an impossible task, or a parent complains because you haven’t taught her child how to write their own operating system, a community is a good place to unburden yourself. Chances are, others in the group have faced the same thing themselves. It proves that you are not going insane — or, if you indeed are, at least you’re in good company.
No matter how creative a person or a team is, given enough time they will start to demonstrate “groupthink”: a tendency to not think of anything that is alien to the group’s way of thinking. In such a situation, even the daftest ideas will seem fine, and the greatest ideas won’t even get a look in. A community, with its myriad voices and viewpoints, can act as an effective counterbalance to becoming set in your (old) ways.
If you don’t know something, posing a question in your community can help you find the answer pretty quickly.
Other people will also know of useful resources, including websites, books, schemes of work and so on.
A place for sharing
If you’ve produced some good resources, or have some useful information yourself, a community is a good place to share them. That’s how communities work: they provide caring through sharing.
What communities should you join, and how should you behave in them? Those topics will be dealt with in future posts.
On the subject of communities, why not sign up for the Digital Education ezine? It contains news, views, guest articles and, sometimes, prize competitions, plus free resources. The articles are typically longer than the ones posted here. It’s free, and you will be joining several thousand other subscribers. You won’t be spammed, and you can unsubscribe any time.