Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Question Connection: Advice from Real Teachers

Got teacher questions? Ask and answer them on the Teaching Resources Facebook page because the best advice comes from real teachers!
Got Teacher Questions? 
Ask and Answer on Facebook!

Read this post to find out about the Question Connection, and then submit your question HERE.

When I first started teaching I was full of questions, and I continued to have questions when I tried new strategies or ran into difficulties. It used to be that we could only seek help from educators we knew personally, but thanks to the Internet, it's easy to ask hundreds or even thousands of teachers for advice!

Facebook is the place to collaborate and now more than ever, teachers are connecting in groups and on pages to help each other. Lately I've been posting Facebook requests for teacher questions and within an hour there will be dozens of questions asked. I repost one or two of the questions each day to all 560,000+ fans, and I'm always amazed at the spirit of collaboration as others jump in to help.

The Question Connection 
To make it easier for teachers to ask and answer questions, I started a regular feature called the Question Connection. To simplify the process, I created a Google Doc form where you can submit a question, and this is also the method to use if you want your question posted anonymously. I'll also post a reminder once a week on Facebook along with one of the Question Connection images on this page. Here's how to participate:
  1. Follow Teaching Resources - Visit my Teaching Resources Facebook page and be sure you have liked it. Then hover over the Like button at the top and be sure that the words "Get Notifications" and "See It First" are checked. If you don't take this step, you won't know when I've posted your question! 
  2. Ask a Question Now - If you have a question right now, click this Google Doc Form and fill it out. Provide details about your situation and grade level that will help others respond, but don't reveal too much personal information about your school or students. 
  3. Ask a Question Later - If you don't have a question right now, pin the image above to one of your Pinterest boards so you can return to this blog post later. Or if you see the Question Connection post on Facebook, you can ask your question in a comment under that post. 
  4. Answer a Question - You might not have any teacher questions of your own, but you might enjoy responding to one of the questions posted. If you can help, just use the reply feature and respond directly to the person asking the question. 
I'll regularly review the questions that are submitted, and I'll post the ones that seem most relevant to the followers of the page. Remember that I created the Teaching Resources page to support elementary educators, so I'll select questions that are relevant for that audience. Questions that go out to everyone often receive over 100 terrific responses! Follow me on Facebook and be sure to watch for your question to be shared!

Got teacher questions? Ask and answer them on the Teaching Resources Facebook page because the best advice comes from real teachers!

What to Ask
Feel free to ask about anything related to teaching or elementary education, but please don't ask something that you can easily Google yourself. Ask the types of questions you would ask a trusted colleague. Here are a few ideas to get  you started:
  • Share an upcoming lesson topic and ask others to recommend great resources and teaching ideas that have worked for them
  • Ask for advice about classroom management, parent communication, dealing with difficult situations at school, etc.
  • Ask how other teachers are using technology or specific websites
Responding to Questions
Got teacher questions? Ask and answer them on the Teaching Resources Facebook page because the best advice comes from real teachers! Questions are only one half of the Question Connection! We also need educators who are willing to answer questions and share ideas. Don't be shy about responding! When you read a question, think about your own teaching experiences to see if you can make a connection. Even if you're a new teacher, you've learned valuable information that can benefit others. Share successful teaching strategies, links to free resources, book recommendations, helpful advice, or best classroom practices. However, please refrain from self-promotion or providing links to teaching products.

Advice from Real Teachers
I love reading all of the responses to each question, and it concerns me that after a few days all of that great advice is lost in Facebook land, never to be found again. That's why I introduced a blog series called "Advice from Real Teachers." When I see a question that receives a massive number of responses, I'll select the top 10 or 15 comments to share here on Corkboard Connections.

If you ever feel hesitant to ask a question or respond with a suggestion, remember that your collaborative efforts benefit many, many other educators. Your question may spark a great discussion that leads to someone else learning a new strategy or discovering an amazing resource!

Great Questions + Advice from Real Teachers = The Question Connection! Enjoy!


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