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8 Educational Forums to Check Out Other Teaching Methods

One thing about field of teaching that many non-educators don't realize is the fact that it requires a lot of work to stay on top of the latest trends and news within the field.

Almost every year, academia produces new findings and new principles that teachers can put into practice inside of the classroom. Some teachers attend classes on a regular basis to stay on top of the latest findings, but other teachers simply focus on networking with other teachers to share information.

Thanks to the advent of the Internet, there are now many online communities where teachers are able to share their own learnings, and to discuss educational issues with other teachers around the world.

While there are many educational forums on the Internet, not all are created equal. The 8 educational forums below are those that are well designed and have a strong community of educators ready to accept you as a new member.

A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums

One of the more popular forums for teachers is A to Z Teacher Stuff Forums. This forum has been around since 1997, and now holds many thousands of discussion threads that cover a wide assortment of educational topics.

teacher forum
A to Z Main Forum Page

In these forums, you'll find everything from general forums for elementary or secondary education, or you can visit more specialized forums like the sub-forums for art or music teachers, behavior management or even substitute teachers.

English Club Forum

If you're a teacher focused on English as a second language, you will want to make sure to sign up at the English Club. This forum contains discussions that cover different issues and concerns that ESL teachers face that are unique from regular educational issues. In these forums, you'll find a community of teachers that understand your concerns and are there to offer advice and a helping hand.

teacher forum
English Club Main Page

The English Club forum has forum areas that cover topics like general ESL teacher discussions, TEFL training discussions, ESL projects and even ESL job offers in countries like China, Korea and worldwide.

The Teacher's Corner

The Teacher's Forum is a large forum with a great user community that is very welcoming and encouraging to new members. It is clearly a place that teachers go not only to learn about teaching techniques and ideas from other teachers, but just a place to hang out and chat with other educators in the community.

teacher forum online
Teacher's Corner Main Forum Page

In these forums, you'll find discussion areas that are titles everything from Preschool/Early Childhood and Special Education, all the way to general chat forums like "Warm Fuzzies" and "This & That".

It's an active community where you will never be bored, and a great place to spend some time and make friends within the global educational community.

The Educational Forum

Another popular educational forum is the aptly-named "The Educational Forum".

While the name may not be extremely creative, the success of this community can't be understated. The Educational Forum is split into major areas that include "Curriculum Subjects", "Educational Issues", "International Projects", "Educational Conferences" and more.

This is one forum that is somewhat more academic and focuses on serious discussions surrounding important educational issues.

teacher forum online
The Educational Forum Main Page

That isn't to say that everything at The Education Forum is strictly for educational discussions. If you search through the many topics and the thousands of threads, you'll find discussions covering anything from the JFK Debate to the Cold War, Environmental Issues, and much more.

This is clearly a forum where you are guaranteed to never get bored.

Teachnology Forums

At first glance, the name of this website may make you assume that it's all about technology, and just misspelled. That's not at all the case. The point of this site is to offer techniques and guidance for teaching - essentially, "technology" for teaching.

The site isn't only a forum, it also offers lesson plans, worksheets, tools and other resources. However, the forum is clearly one of the most valuable areas for any teacher interested in learning what the latest teaching methods are.

teacher forum online
The Teachnology Forum

This is one forum that is clearly all about education, and doesn't stray much from that topic area. You'll find forum areas for topics such as Preschool & Early Elementary, High School, Special Educational, and of course areas for specific subjects like Math, Science and Social Studies.

Teacher Focus

The Teacher Focus forum certainly lives up to its name. It is a forum with discussions that are nearly all primarily focused on one thing - focusing specifically on teachers themselves, and the sorts of concerns that they have in their individual educational niche.

school teacher forums
Teacher Focus Forums

This is why every section has the word "Teachers" in the title, because every area has a specific focus on the needs and concerns of teachers themselves. Here, you'll find areas for middle school teachers, special educational teachers, English teachers, Science and Math teachers, and much more.

TES Community

The TES Community is a UK-based site that is actually a part of the TES Magazine. TES boasts itself as "the largest network of teachers in the world". This isn't very far from the truth, as the community has over 2 million users from 197 countries across the world.

It is a massive community of teachers that offer insight, advice and valuable perspectives from every culture and every walk of life.

school teacher forums
The TES Forum Search

Interestingly, the main forum page is actually a search tool. This lets you quickly access forum discussions that are focused on your specific concerns. Of course, if you prefer just browsing forum discussions, you can scroll down the page or click on one of the popular forum links.

school teacher forums
TES Forum Discussions

As is usually the case when forums get very large, they can get filled with more new threads than there are members to answer them. For this reason, the search tool is actually very useful. Otherwise, you'll have to sift through threads where no one has replied yet, which can get very tedious.

However, there is such a large user base at this forum, and so many valuable discussions, that it is well worth spending some time to explore.

Dave's ESL Cafe

Another popular forum for educators - specifically ESL teachers - is Dave's ESL Cafe. So, who is Dave exactly?

Dave is just a guy from Los Angeles, California, with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Applied Linguistics, who decided to start "Dave's ESL Cafe" in 1995.

It has been running strong ever since, and now serves as a valuable resource and community for ESL educators.

teacher forum
Dave's ESL Cafe Forum

The forum has areas like Applied Linguistics, Adult Education, Elementary Education, Intensive English Programs, and much more. There are thousands of topics and many thousands of posts to explore, and there are new posts being added daily.

As you can see, if you are an educator and interested in connecting with other educators across the world that share your concerns, values and interests, online teacher forums are an excellent place to spend your time. You will meet up with like-minded teachers, where you can swap ideas, get advice and best of all - get valuable insights into how you can be a better teacher for your students.

Written August 6, 2012 by Ryan Dube


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