Thursday, August 8, 2013

Networking and Socials

For the past few days I have been thinking about the many people who have helped me develop my teaching skills.  Obviously, I have learned from college courses, trainings and observations.  However, I have also learned and developed skills in a more subtle way....simply socializing and talking with others in the field of education.

One of the teachers on my team from five years ago and at a different school e-mailed me to let me know that someone in her hallway was throwing away SRA Reading Mastery teacher presentation kits.  These kits are expensive: $1,200-$1,500.  I was thrilled!  I have access to all of our comprehensive reading materials that the district requires us to use, but I like to have a bank of supplemental materials on hand for those kiddos who need more.

After I went to her school to pick them up, I ran into some other teachers and assistants that I used to work with and they invited me to join them for lunch.  I'm always up for a summer lunch with fun people so of course I agreed.

When I got home I started thinking about this.  We did some talking about school, but lots of talking about summer activities, vacations, families, etc. etc. etc.  However, because of these relationships that were built and then held on to by keeping in touch; my friend gifted me with almost $3,000 worth of materials.

Now I'm not suggesting you go out and make friends so that hopefully you will profit from it!  I'm just saying that sometimes those lunch dates, happy hours, chatting over coffee and socials at conferences help you build up a network of people who are happy to help if they can.  We don't always have to be actively discussing curriculum or Common Core or classroom management.  Sometimes those relationships we build with other colleagues help to support us when we are running on empty or they surprise us with happy gifts in August!