The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

There is a niche market for skilled and well rounded educator in any faculty who takes on a passive leadership role. This is the educator is a lifelong learner in both formal or informal settings. This leader is connected and contributes actively to a Professional Learning Network #PLN they have created for themselves. This network has like minded educators in a diverse range of roles, experience and perspective on education should look today and in the future. This leader is the educator who just gets on does the tasks that need doing and actively supports others in the faculty.

This role requires the teacher to be flexible, adaptable and have the foresight to gain a deep knowledge of the subject they are assigned, even if it is outside their immediate subject area; quickly and efficiently. They can be employed at short notice and create successful relationships with fellow colleagues and students immediately. This is a skill that is not one possessed by all educators, hence a high level of competence and diverse experience in the teaching profession is required. The market for this role is not always recognised by those in positions of recruitment.

On a number of occasions over my career, others have been employed over me because of the position is in their subject area and do not possess the skill of “picking up” where the previous teacher left off with or without resources, competence and ability to form relationships with students and fellow colleagues. At times I have seen the “sink or swim” attitude being applied by middle or higher management within a school to teachers employed at short notice without support. In my current role, I am fortunate that my niche skills have been recognised, utilised and I have strong support from management.

This niche teacher is a learner WITH their students not portray that they are the keeper of all knowledge. It may be a period of time since teaching the subject or unit of work. The niche teacher is always seeking to gain the most current and future predictions of how the subject they are teaching is going to change. This is done through the discussions and guidance from their #PLN, professional reading and updates from NESA or professional associations.

The teacher with the skill to “run with the ball” and and not just the qualifications to teach a subject to fill a position left at short notice is worth the investment.

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