The current trend in education is to be in a PLC (Professional Learning Community) or PLN (Professional Learning Network). Being in community is one of the most powerful ways to create systematic change. Presently, PLCs have become a mandate and as soon as you legislate something, it becomes less appealing. However, I would encourage you to be in a PLC at school and a PLN in your personal life. The PLC at school will typically be with grade level, discipline areas and subject related colleagues. The idea is to share ideas and lesson plans for the benefits of the learning of all. In a PLN, typically you join together with others who share a common interest. One of the largest PLNs I am a part of is the Discovery Educator Network – the DEN. The teachers in the DEN collaborated, meet at events and are joined by social networks. No one has to mandate when and where they meet and what they should be working on. It grows itself. Teachers are naturally creative and some of the most unique teaching ideas ever have come through this community.
The PLN that I would like to encourage you to become a part of is your own Bible study group on campus. As Christian Educators, the basis of all we learn begins in the Word. Too often our workload is overbearing and thought of “one more thing to do” is just too much. I propose that if you are in the Word first, all the other “to dos” become a bit more bearable. Can you imagine if every Christian in the public school made their Bible Study PLN (Personal Learning Network) their #1 priority? Matt. 19:26 “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” If it seems that you cannot possibly do one more thing, you are right. You can’t but with God’s help and the power of the Holy Spirit, you can form a prayer group/Bible study with your colleagues.
Teachers often look for devotional materials that can be used with their prayer groups at school. There are a few great ones out there: Cornerstone Devotionals for Teachers and FACE (Fellowship and Christian Encouragement), however for this post, I would like to highlight Shine Like Stars, a twelve part devotional study written by Doreen Madre, executive secretary for Christian Educators Association, Int. (CEAI). This powerful study includes sections on our worldview, being under authority, our high calling and much more. As your form prayer groups, teachers often look for more to bind them together. Using Shine Like Stars as the platform for your Bible study, your prayer group becomes a PLN! When Christians fellowship together in the Word, there is power. May God bless your precious time. May He give you wisdom to say yes to those things that please Him most and that you find others to share His good Word with.
There is one more option for being a part of a PLN (Professional Learning Network) that is beyond the school. Why not join a national PLN doing this study? I experimented with online and it definitely has merit. Let me know if you are interested in doing it with others online and I will set some dates and prepare it for us. All you will have to do is join and participate. Anyone game?
Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.