When I was going to high school, there was a special dining room reserved for teachers. It was in a corner of our cafeteria and I remember seeing teachers heading back there carrying brown lunch bags and cafeteria trays. I have no idea what they talked about behind closed doors, but I assume they were happy to be away from students like me and my friends, at least for the duration of a lunch period.
Today, teachers’ lounges can be found in many schools. They, like that dining room I remember, are places where teachers can connect to each other, discuss current challenges and ideas, and enjoy being part of a teachers’ community.
Enter the Age of the Pandemic
If you are a teacher today, where can you fulfill that same need for community? Where can you ask your peers questions and find answers?
One way is to join one or more of the teachers’ groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. There are thousands of groups for educators, and you are almost sure to find one that meets your needs.
If you are new to social media groups, there are a few basics you should know.
Some groups are open – you can simply join, and start posting and see what other teachers are posting. For many other groups, you need to apply to join by filling out a short application and then waiting about a day to be admitted.
There are certain social norms you should observe, all based on common courtesy and common sense. You should keep the tone of your posts positive, for example. (But you would do that anyway, right?) You shouldn’t try to sell things through the group.
Another norm, maybe a bit less obvious, is that you should actively contribute to the groups you belong to. If you find an article that you think your fellow group members will want to read, for example, you should post it. If you find another resource, like a good source of classroom supplies or software, post that too. The more you contribute, the more leeway you will feel to ask questions and ask for assistance or advice from other members.
What Groups Should Teachers Join?
As we noted earlier, there are thousands of educational groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, with hundreds of thousands of members.
The best way to locate groups for teachers and educators is to log onto Facebook and LinkedIn and use their search windows to locate groups you are looking for. (It’s obvious but let us mention that before you can search for groups or join them, you will need to join Facebook and LinkedIn.)
What groups for teachers and educators will you find? We made the following lists of groups. Bear in mind that these lists are incomplete and if you search on these sites, you will find many more that could interest you.
Sample Facebook Groups for Educators
Search for these groups by name on Facebook:
- Build Math Minds Group
- Chemistry Teachers Group
- Creative High School English Group
- Distance Learning for Special Ed Teachers Group
- Elementary PE Teachers Group
- Elementary Teachers support Group
- English Learners and Teachers Group
- English Teachers & Linguists Group
- Fifth Grade Teaching Ideas Group
- First Year Teacher Mentor Group
- French Learners Group
- Kinder Teacher Talk Group
- Math Minded Teachers Group
- Mathematics Group
- Middle School Math Teachers Group
- Middle School Science Teachers Group
- Middle School Teachers Unite Group
- Physical Education Teachers Group
- Preschool Teachers’ Network Group
- Remote Learning Ideas for Teachers Group
- Secondary Social Studies Teachers Collaborative Group
- Social Emotional Learning and Teaching Group
- Special Education Teachers Group
- STEM Educator Support Group
- Teachers Helping Teachers COVID-19 Crisis Group
- Teachers Helping Teachers Group
- Teachers of English Group
- Teachers of Reading Group
- Teachers Teaching with Tech Group
- Teachers Using Tech Group
- Teachers Who Love Science Group
- Technology Teacher Tribe Group
- We Are Teachers Group
Sample of LinkedIn Groups for Educators
Search for these groups by name on LinkedIn:
- 21st Century Education Group
- Big Apple Educators Group
- Center for STEM Education Group
- College and Career Readiness Group
- Common Core State Standards Network Group
- EdLeader21 Group.
- Educational Leadership Group
- Elementary Teachers Group
- Excellence and Innovation in Education Group
- History Education Group
- History Teachers Group
- K-12 Education Technology Group
- Middle School Teachers Group
- Professional Learning Association Group
- Public School Education Foundation Group
- School Superintendents Association Group.
- Science Math Primary/Secondary Teachers Group
- Secondary Education Professionals Group
- TEACH Group
- Teacher’s Lounge Group
- Teaching Kids Science Group
- Teaching STEM Group
Note that these are not comprehensive lists of the groups for educators that you can join on Facebook and LinkedIn.
They might not be as homey and welcoming as your school’s teacher’s lounge or dining room, but we hope they will support your need for community during these difficult times.
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