The Importance of Connecting to an Online Educator Network

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

I have always consider myself one to network. Older versions included going to conferences, exchanging contact information, and checking it with each other time to time by email or phone when we had a question about something.

I will be honest. When I started my virtual blog on Instagram four years ago, I wasn't sure where it would go. I knew that I loved sharing experiences of leadership and our campus. I knew that I loved being able to connect with others who were experiencing some of the same things I did. Converting to a different blog space, such as this, has also been an experience. What I can say is that the help of members of online educator networks that I am apart of have helped tremendously. I have come to get to know so many wonderful educators that have become like family to me over time. They have provided a safe space for collaboration and personal development. It has been like breaking ground. Isn't that what leadership is all about?

My top four benefits for being apart of an online educator leadership networks are:

| Sharing of experiences |

Networks help the sharing of experiences and brings awareness to relevant topics related to these experiences. It can also be motivating to have your views, voice, and perspectives heard. At this time, my experiences are of how to continue to serve where there's "the unknown" of COVID-19 and what is this looking like for others as they navigate ahead of what we are currently doing.

| Generating creative ideas |

What's better than one? Two or more! Being able to talk and discuss with others helps facilitate the flow of ideas, as well as, provides more than one perspective in solidifying ideas. What's even more beneficial is when you can be apart of developing new ideas to benefit others together.

| Support system |

Oprah Winfrey was quoted as saying, "surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher." Educator networks can help in so many areas of your professional and personal lives. Having a strong support system can assist in defining understanding of your passion, obstacles, and reducing stress. It's also awesome to connect with those with family and lifestyle similarities. As a mom of two, wife, and leader these support systems have helped me identify gaps in my own self care, have checked on me, and allowed me space to share how I am feeling. It helps to know that I am not alone.

| Keeps a pulse on the industry outside our campus, district, state, etc. |

When I began taking doctoral classes, one of the common items asked by my professors was to think globally. Thinking globally allows us to venture outside our comfort areas in education to see current trends and keep a pulse of what's going on in our own industry. I feel like now there is a greater pulse geared on social emotional learning, equity, hybrid learning, and health/safety of students and staff.

While COVID-19 has brought many uncertainties. For me, it has allowed me to reflected on the importance of having interconnected systems that I am apart of and can continue to be apart of. Education is and will always be the cornerstone to our society. Educators sticking together is important. It is my hope that we continue to reach out to one another, share experiences, provide resources, and build strong relationships to continue to build one another.

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