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Connect with Your Peers on LinkedIn

21 Oct 2014 by Lisa Rogoff

Half a million teachers leave the classroom every year.

My guess is that you’ve heard that statistic before.

But did you know that the majority of these teachers cite a lack of support or a feeling of isolation as their reason for leaving?

My brother, Jeremy, left the classroom for just that reason. Jeremy was an amazing teacher—he was named teacher of the year during his first year and got incredible results in improving students’ test scores. And Jeremy loved teaching. But he was not getting the “quality support and partnership from other teachers and mentors” that he desired. He couldn’t see a path for growth and yearned for a team-driven environment.

These feelings are not unique to teachers. As I reflected back on the jobs I’ve quit—or really anything I’ve quit (swimming, the guitar, and most recently, an online course)— I’ve left because I felt I wasn’t receiving sufficient support or sensed there was limited room for advancement. And the times I’ve been happiest—personally and professionally—are when I’m connecting with and learning from others who have walked in my shoes.

We all thrive on community and shared experiences. We rely on others to improve, grow, and find meaning in what we do each day. Our observers and coaches, and even more frequently, administrators, tell us this all the time. However, finding the time and the avenue to connect with peers can be tricky.

But we know how important these relationships are— we’re an interactions company after all!— and we are dedicated to finding simple, fast, and meaningful ways to help you connect with colleagues who are facing similar challenges. Our first attempt at this is our new LinkedIn group, Teachstone: A Forum for CLASS Observers and Coaches.

I realize that LinkedIn and social media may be new for some of you, but we’ve found it’s a great way to stay in touch with others in the field, to crowd source problems that you’re having, and to gain inspiration from colleagues. The group is just getting started, and I encourage you to join and lean on your peers for support.

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