Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Bit of Separation Anxiety

Image by Domiriel

In her chapter on the use of discussion boards in student teaching Dr. Karen Johnson (2010) wrote that during student teaching placement "students often feel isolated from their peers and without a social and emotional group to connect with during this very stressful time in their lives" (p. 61). When I read that over the summer, I didn't really understand it. I figured that it was impossible to feel disconnected in a school building full of people. Unfortunately, a month into my student teaching experience, I find myself living it. In the past year I have built an amazing PLN, a community of people that I learn with and learn from on a daily basis. I loved reading what they were reading, going to them for guidance and celebrating their successes. I value the connections I have with every person in my PLN because they enrich my learning and help me to be a better preservice teacher and student. Now the sheer volume of work required for student teaching prevents me from connecting with my learning community in a meaningful way which has left me feeling unbelievably disconnected. Going through this experience, I believe in connected learning more than ever. Now every conversation, every e-mail and tweet means so much more to me because it stretches my understanding, inspires me and helps me to connect the dots. Student teaching has been a fantastic learning experience so far. I just wish I could do it and remain tightly connected with my learning community at the same time.

Johnson, K.J. (2010). Peer to Peer: Using the electronic discussion board during student teaching. In Yamamoto, J., Kush, J. C., Lombard, R., & Hertzog, C. J. (Eds.), Technology Implementation and Teacher Education: Reflective Models (pp. 60-71). Idea Group Inc