Learning, Sharing, & Participating – Online Communities

Tasked to join at least four communities during this module, our instructor tossed the gauntlet to not just lurk but extend ourselves by participating. Challenge accepted.

Initially, I lurked and tried to grasp if the community I chose fit my needs. Eventually, I offered thoughts, tips or ideas and freely shared my passions. I joined five total communities because I feared one was going to delay too long in accepting me and to be honest was afraid it was no longer current.

The English Companion

Image of Peer Question

Question posed by teachermom in a community dedicated to English/Language Arts teachers.

Post 1 – Teachermom posed a question about her school’s upcoming Student/Teacher/Parent Conferences. Evidently, someone in leadership (possibly her) made a decision to offer Student-led Conferences this year. It seems like an exciting evening for the 7th & 8th graders. Somehow, the teachers are not supporting the evening. The OP questions ways to help insure the evening planned for Nov 7th goes off without a hitch. Hard to accomplish her goals when the staff does not feel those goals belong to them. My reply is posted below.

Bernheim response to teachermom

I respond to teachermom with some clarification questions and an action plan.

Post 2 – I found another poster to whom I wanted to address. This poster was looking for plays that addressed questions of Social Injustice with regard to race, LGBT vantage points. His post follows.

Ethan Johnson's Question

Peer searches for plays addressing Social Injustice from race or LGBT vantage point.

Since I felt I could add to the conversation, I did.

Peer to Peer Reply

I reply to Johnson’s request and offer a few titles that have not been offered while affirming some that have.

Post 3 – The next post was still in the same community. However, this question dealt with teaching ELL. Alia Mohammed Rashid addresses three concerns: lack of learner motivation; insufficient time, resources and materials; and overcrowded English classes. I will attach the screenshot here.

Part 1 question

Part 1 of my peer’s questions. Not clear if this was a baited post or if his/her questions are real. I choose real.

Rashid Part 2

The rest of Rashid’s questions appear here.

My reply follows in two screenshots.

Bernheim Reply to Rashid

I reply to Rashid’s questions and break down my response.

Bernheim Reply to Rashid

I complete my reply to my peer, sharing my opinion in a professional manner.

Drama Net Online Community

Post 4

This particular community took time to validate my request to join. Perhaps it was due to the New Zealand location. I really wanted to explore connecting across the globe. Benjamin posted a question of how to manage play selection in a single-sex school. Having performed in a single-sex environment at my high school and selecting plays for single-sex in public school, I felt compelled to respond.

Response Single-Sex

Response to question regarding single-sex play choices.

Drama Teachers and Resources for them

Post 5

Alison Chaplin posted a question, “Are drama games worthwhile? What are their benefits?” Since I advocate the use of “drama” games, I felt compelled to reply.

Theater Games

I offered my response to the question of drama game use.

Post 6

Since this was a community of fellow Drama/Theater teachers, I felt it worthwhile to offer my Curated page of Drama teacher resources.

Bernheim Posts Resources

Offered the group my curated page of Drama resources.

Post 7

I also thought it worthwhile to share my plan for safeguarding digital identity.

Screenshot of Digital Identity

Shared Safeguarding My Digital Identity – Plan B to help grow my brand.

New Teacher Chat Online Community

Through Google + and our Twitter Chat professional development, Lisa Dable, the creator of #ntchat, and I hit it off. She invited me to continue participating and I noticed she ran an online community for new teachers as well. I joined the community and felt compelled to offer my digital curation. (Lisa had already shared Safeguarding My Digital Identity – Plan B.)

Post 8

Curation Screenshot

I offered my curated page of Drama resources to the ntchat online community.

Post 9

I felt compelled to offer my plan to safeguard digital identity. I felt it would be of value to both new and not-so-new teachers on this site.

Digital Identity Post

Shared Safeguarding My Digital Identity – Plan B with the group.

International Teacher Recruitment – Teaching Jobs Overseas (LinkedIn Online Community)

Since approval to the first Drama Community I joined was taking what felt like an eternity, I joined an online community through LinkedIn to help me meet my goal of returning to the Dean of Students office.

Post 10

Screenshot of Response

I joined an online community for International Teaching Jobs as a way to build traffic to my LinkedIn page.

This was a valuable assignment. Were it not for the post requirement, I might have taken a much longer road to posting and revealing myself. The experience challenged me to represent my brand and choose my words carefully. I am better for the experience.


About "B" Bernheim
“B”, his nickname, returns to the other side of the desk after many years. Graduating from UNC-Charlotte in 1983 with a BA in Education (K-12), he entered active service with the US Army. He began teaching high school upon completion of his tour of duty. B taught Language Arts and Social Studies for one year at the middle school level. English, Composition, Public Speaking, Theater, Forensics, and Technical Theater are among the subjects he has taught in public high school settings. Most recently, he was a Strategies of Instruction teacher, Assistant Dean of Students, dorm parent, girls’ hockey coach and rock climbing instructor at The Forman School in Litchfield, CT. The Forman School is a 9-12 boarding school specifically targeting students who learn differently.

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