The past few weeks I have truly come to find out how important a community can be. I recently lost my Nana and throughout the whole thing there was one community that was always there, our church. This is a community that my whole family is a part of, my parents, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even one that my Nana was a very active member of. Some of us are not as active in the community as others, but that didn’t matter during this time. The priest came to the house to pray with us, families brought over food, and members showed up at the funeral to show their support and condolences. In being a member of this community we were able to get through a very tough time a little easier.
Another huge community that I am apart of is the community of professors, teachers, and students in the College of Education at Arcadia University. This is a community that is full of people interested and passionate about the same thing. One thing I have notice from the year I have been at Arcadia is how everyone is so willing to help. Being a new teacher this is something that is very important. I think we learn the most from each other rather than textbooks so having a community to lean on and learn from is extremely important.
Through the community at Arcadia I was able to become a member of a new community. Being new to teaching I wanted to connect to a community for teaching, so after asking around at Arcadia it was recommended that I sign up for the website Teachers Pay Teachers, so I did! This is a website where teachers can sell original lesson plans, activities, and other resources and then other teachers can go on to purchase them. As Lave and Wegner say in their article, Communities of Practice, “In some groups we are core members, in others we are more at the margins”. I would say that the members who are selling and are very active are core members. I right now am more at the margins exploring all that the community has to offer.
One more thing I wanted to comment on was something that Kira Baker-Doyle said in her book. She says that, “teacher networks and professional learning communities help socialize and guide teachers to become active members of the professional community”. As someone who is just starting this journey this quote really makes me realize that it is okay to go to others for help and that there are so many communities out there to help me. Time to start building my communities of practice!