For years now, fellow English teacher and blogger, Renee Moore, has been singing praises of the English Companion Ning, a site where English teachers can help each other and talk shop. I am finally there, and oh, what I have been missing!
This is the place for English teachers to pose questions like, what does "pre writing" really mean, what part of it do students need, and how do you use it in your classroom? It is also a place where English teachers can share love of literature and end up comparing the writing of Fitzgerald and Milton. It's a place to ask for good text suggestions for high school ELL's, and sharing materials for great poetry lessons, and commisserate about the amount of time we spend thinking about grading papers. The conversation is really thoughtful, and people are more than willing to share what they know and help each other. Their tagline is,
"A place to ask questions and get help. A community dedicated to helping you enjoy your work. A cafe without walls or coffee: just friends."
How nice is that?!
I've been thinking a lot lately about how teachers can guide our own professional development. For English teachers, it doesn't get much better than a site like this. The ability to connect with other teachers asynchronously with no geographical obstacles, ask your own questions and help others is something we should all be doing.
If you teach English and you're not on the Ning, you're missing out!