Teacher Tips: Finding A Community

December 3, 2021

Welcome to Teacher Tips, a blog series by Linda Detwiler, our customer success manager and former chemistry and physics teacher. In an effort to increase the newsletter access to teachers, we have moved the longer messages out and added them to our blog. Join us for your weekly tips and tricks for all of your classroom needs.

Have you ever been the new teacher in a school? How about the new teacher overall? Maybe you’ve been asked to teach a subject for the first time and it’s WAY outside of your comfort zone. Or, have you found yourself being *the* teacher? You know, the only teacher with that prep in the building?

Teaching can sometimes feel overwhelming and isolating, because when that door closes: you’re on your own. And it’s perfectly normal and valid to want to find other people in your situation. 

Enter social media. For better or worse, social media has changed the way people connect with each other. We now have the ability to create groups of like-minded people who come together to help each other. This is ESPECIALLY true in education and science education. In every discipline, you’re going to find a host of different Facebook groups willing to help you however you need. 

Below is a list of some of my favorite Facebook Groups. Some things to handle before we get too deep:

  • Pivot Interactives does not sponsor or support, either directly or indirectly, any of the groups listed here other than our official Facebook group. As such, we are not responsible for the content posted in these groups. 
  • Pivot Interactives is not endorsed or sponsored by any of the groups listed here. 

This is just a list of some of my personal favorite Facebook groups for science teachers. This list is by no means exclusive: there are tons of other science groups out there. However, these are the groups that I have personally been in, seen good things, and feel comfortable recommending them. Think of this as a friend recommending a restaurant. It’s something for you to take a look at, but it's always gonna be a personal choice.

Pivot Interactives Stuff:

  • Pivot Interactives Teachers: Yep! We have our own group. Just a place to connect with us and share more content. You get first access to demos, beta testing, news, and announcements before we go public.

Physics:

  • National AP Physics Teachers: Ideally for AP Physics teachers and people wanting to teach AP Physics. Most of the teachers teach P1/Mech, with some discussions of 2 and EM. (Disclosure: I'm an admin in this group.)
  • National NGSS Physics Teachers: Small but growing physics group focused on intro physics courses. (Disclosure: I'm an admin in this group too.)

Biology

Chemistry:

  • National Chemistry Teachers: Very laid-back environment for teachers to just gather about chem. We talk about anything and everything. (Disclosure: I'm an admin in this group too.)
  • AP Chemistry Teachers: Great for AP teachers. Several of the APSI consultants exist in this group. 
  • Strategies for Teaching Chemistry: Made by mostly college professors, the group focuses on advanced chemistry and classroom tips. Great for AP ideas and how to address issues in super-competitive spaces (like classroom management concerns that really only apply to AP or gifted/talented students).
  • NGSS Chemistry Teachers: Focused on intro chemistry, this group is great for all things chem!

Earth Science/Environmental:

General:

  • WeAreTeachers Helpline: This is a K-12 group focusing on general teaching help. A lot of it is elementary, though occasionally you see a high school teacher or a science teacher reach out. Good for just trends and classroom ideas. I like to think of it as the "cross-curricular" connection. It keeps me from living in my science vacuum. Plus, some of those cutesy elementary ideas can be jazzed up for high school kids. I get a lot of station ideas and mini-games from here. I also love the general teacher talk; you know, that water cooler talk. It's great to hear about trends and topics that are true to all of education.
  • Teachers Using Google Workspace for Education: For general tech tips, making Google do the thing, and other blended ideas. I have been snagging ideas from here for a WHILE. It's a huge group, so posts go quick!