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Beyond the Screen: The Power of In-Person Connections in Education

Beyond the Screen: The Power of In-Person Connections in Education

Hungry to Learn and Network

Education is a dynamic field, constantly evolving with new methodologies, technologies, and challenges. Embrace the opportunity for continuous growth. Attend workshops, engage in professional development, and collaborate with fellow educators. The more you evolve, the more effective you become as a teacher. By staying current and feeling agency in the difference you make in the lives of others, you impart enthusiasm to your students and colleagues.

Webinars and In-Person Training

In an era dominated by webinars and the convenience of online training through various Learning Management System (LMS) platforms, it's crucial to recognize the significance of including in-person opportunities. While the digital realm offers quick and accessible learning sessions, the value of making tangible connections with fellow educators cannot be overstated. Beyond the screen, in-person meetings provide a unique space to forge genuine relationships, share personal stories, and delve into common interests or aspirations.

Online training serves its purpose, offering a streamlined approach to skill development and knowledge acquisition. The convenience of accessing information from the comfort of one's home is undeniable. The positive outcome from the pandemic which we appreciate for its carbon footprint, also brings about significant cost and time savings. Periodically, a face-to-face interaction adds a distinct richness fulfilling the social aspect of human nature.

Making Deeper Friendships

When educators gather in person, it goes beyond the confines of a predefined agenda. It becomes an opportunity to connect on a deeper level, fostering trust and transparency among colleagues. Sharing personal stories creates a sense of camaraderie, making it easier to relate to one another's experiences, challenges, and triumphs. These shared narratives build a foundation for authentic relationships that extend beyond professional settings.

In-person connections contribute to robust learning communities since they offer unique spaces for spontaneous and unscripted conversations. These bonds often lead to collaboration, shared resources, and a supportive network that become your “phone a friend” or a source for lesson sharing - why reinvent the wheel?

Both in-person and face-to-face learning enhance your practice by exposing you to current instructional strategies and available resources. While the constraints of time and energy after a day of teaching can make attending a workshop challenging, the dividends come in various forms. The opportunity to refine your skills through new strategies and reflection is not only beneficial but also inspiring.

Stay Current

Recognizing the swift pace of evolving technology and the constant connectivity of students to real-time information, it's not surprising that educators, more than ever, need to engage with meaningful materials that resonate with the world around us. Ongoing training is pivotal in overcoming the barrier of falling out of the loop regarding the latest apps and tools.

Reflecting on my initial years of teaching, the demands of balancing a young family and working full time were challenging. However, my professional colleagues remained steadfast companions on our collective journey, each of us venturing into diverse leadership roles. As we grew more familiar with each other's calibre of work and expertise, this network proved invaluable. Over time it evolved into a supportive foundation that became pillars in our respective careers.


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Meet the author:

Nina Jaiswal, an Educational Consultant and former Superintendent of Education, offers valuable insights for educators, both experienced and new. As an expert witness in school liability, discipline matters, compliance, and policy, her perspective is essential for understanding the complexities of education. In addition to consultancy, Nina dedicates her expertise to coaching staff at all levels, focusing on career growth, promotion preparation, leadership development, and competency strengthening in educational matters.

With over 13 years on the Accreditation Review Panel for the Ontario College of Teachers and a history of teaching at the University of Toronto and York University, Nina's voice is grounded in extensive experience. She has significantly contributed to professional learning at the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA) and served as a coach for the Ontario Principals' Council. Recognized for impactful partnerships with community agencies and families, Nina is a driving force behind fostering public confidence and elevating student achievement.  

Nina's writing is an indispensable resource for anyone eager to delve into the dynamic world of education.