Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Contributing to a Learning Community

How do you contribute to your learning community?  In what ways do you foster contribution from colleagues and students?

Today a host of educators from my school system shared their learning from a recent conference.  I must say I enjoyed reviewing all the notes.  As an avid blogger, it was great to read thoughts from others in my system.  I found myself scanning their notes for answers to my questions related to teaching children well. The notes about the big ideas and productive classroom conversation drew my attention. I was left with new ideas to try out to strengthen my teaching repertoire and student learning.

The flurry of posts made me think about who contributes to the learning community and what those contributions might look like?

Here are a few ways that learners can contribute to the community they collaborate with:
  • Share your learning through emails, blogs, tweets, presentations and conversations.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop curriculum, student learning endeavors and school-wide learning events.
  • Ask questions, share ideas and innovate preferably with others. 
  • Share your expertise.
  • Seek out answers to your inquiry, problems and pursuits as there are sure to be colleagues, students and community members ready to help out.
  • Support a student or collegial share with encouragement and effort. 
  • Coach a learner. 
What other actions help to build and promote a strong, creative learning community?  The posts today demonstrated a sense of enthusiasm and passion for learning and sharing--that kind of spirit is contagious and serves to lift everyone up from typical routines to responsive, adaptive student-centered thought and practice.

How does your learning community work?  Does your learning community resemble factory models of the past or today's innovative organizations?  I'd like to grow my thinking and practice in this area, and I'm interested in your ideas and experience--please share if you're able.  Thanks!