Episode 015: Building Professional Community


In this episode, I share some personal experiences and ideas around building a creative community for yourself. Teaching can be very lonely, especially if the teachers you encounter at first are not receptive to your ideas and vision.

The episode breaks down into five main ideas for building community, which I'll briefly summarize below.

Be a Friend – host potlucks, cards nights, happy hour expeditions, minor league baseball game extravaganzas. Invite EVERYONE on the faculty, not just the people you already know. 

Be a Mentor – help younger teachers, answer questions, share cool strategies and websites, e-mail your department with great finds and ideas. 

Be an Organizer – start a club for teachers interested in developing a new strategy.  As more people come to breakfast or coffee or dessert once a month and share thoughts around the new idea, you’ll be building a group of people you can relate to and count on for support. 

Reach Out – invite another teacher to team teach a unit, ask someone outside your department to collaborate on an interdisciplinary project, offer to do a guest lecture for a course studying something you love, or bring in administrators as poetry slam judges and guest book talkers. Create connections outside your immediate arena. 


Find Support Elsewhere – Find community online in a Facebook group like Creative High School English or join one of the many weekly Twitter Edu chats. Follow some creative teachers on Instagram (meet me here!) or check out We Are Teachers now and then to see what other teachers are laughing at and sharing. 

I hope you enjoyed this week's episode. Thanks for joining me! 

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