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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