What is C-NET?

What the heck is C-NET? And why should you expend your limited time and energy on it?

The first question is easy. C-NET (short for Community of New English Teachers) is an online forum to create and support interaction among beginning English teachers. In the C-NET wiki, you can discuss highs and lows, trade tips, ask questions and gain ideas about teaching with fellow Purdue graduates of the English Education program.

The second question is slightly more involved. The short answer is "because you might benefit from interacting with other English teachers facing similar experiences" but there's a bit more to it than that. Bear with me and I'll explain.

  • Point 1: Teaching is hard work and the first years of teaching are often the hardest. You're faced with all the responsibilities and expectations placed on veteran teachers - but you're still learning to work the copier, find the media center and pronounce your students' names. No matter how prepared you are, the first few years can be a bit overwhelming.
  • Point 2: New teachers often struggle with issues of practice alone. Sometimes you have no one to turn to with your teaching and learning concerns. Sometimes it seems better to answer your questions by yourself, rather than appear unprepared (you're not), unprofessional (you're not) or unintelligent (you're definitely not). Whatever the circumstances, beginning teachers seldom have the opportunity, found during their university preparation and student teaching, to share their experiences, ideas and questions with those in similar situations.
  • Point 3: New or not, you have a great deal to share with your fellow teachers (and teacher educators). Your past and present experiences, your beliefs on teaching and learning, your questions about education: these all have worth. By discussing, questioning, considering, sharing your thoughts and ideas, you expand your concept of teaching and learning. I believe I can learn quite a lot from you, but more importantly, I believe you can learn a great deal from each other.

There you have it. The early years of teaching are always hard and often isolating; creating a supportive community can be difficult in those first years; but new teachers can only benefit by sharing and learning with others.

C-NET is my attempt to support a community of former Purdue students who are now beginning English teachers. This collaborative wiki allows you to share your experiences with fellow teachers in similar situations. It also provides you with a space in which to learn new ideas and gain new perspectives. And perhaps it will also encourage some reflection on your teaching and your students’ learning

As always, my best,

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