Getting Started

Identify Peers

Identify peers for your own Personalized Support Network (PSN) or join an existing Job Alike PSN

Personalized Support Network participants should be peers who have similar roles or interests in different organizations so they can share and understand each others' challenges and opportunities while remaining objective and providing alternative perspectives and experiences.
  • •  People you worked with previously who are now in other districts
  • •  Professionals from other districts you connected with in a training course or workshop that now have similar roles
  • •  Practitioners you met at a conference or industry event
Fellow members of one of the many online communities for educators such as Connected Principals, LearnCentral, Curriki, edWeb, GetIdeas, ascd, iearn, JK Thomas, Better Lesson, TeachAde and aasa

Send an invitation

All professionals, especially committed educators, seek to grow in their jobs and improve their practices. PSNs provide the opportunity for every participant to benefit equally within their own organization. To inform peers that you wish to have them join your Personalized Support Network you can personalize and send this sample invitation explaining the benefits. Alternatively, once you register at Job-Alike.org and join or start a PSN, select the “Invite” tab and “Expand New Invite” below it. Just enter your peers’ email addresses and Job Alike will automatically send an invitation to the peers you identify on your behalf. Job-Alike.org PSNs support up to 15 group participants and members may participate in up to three PSNs.

Build your PSN

You can add to your PSN by inviting specific contacts or by setting the PSN type to “Approve” in which case other people can request to Join but will need to be approved by the group administrator.  If you invite contacts they will be required to register at Job-Alike.org before having access to your PSN but once they join they will automatically be approved.  A PSN can have between 6 and 15 members and members should commit to participate in at least 80% of the meetings.

Establish routines and protocols
Develop a meeting schedule

Agree to meet online a minimum of once per month and ideally every other week. Be mindful of time zones if your PSN group spans states.  Participants should join meetings promptly and a (rotating) moderator, and possibly a note-taker, should be  assigned for each meeting.
Each PSN has an “Events” tab where a new event can be scheduled. The master schedule of available meeting times is on the Meetings page as is the link to join your meeting online (and test to be sure your browser is properly set up in advance). If you are on the road you will also have the option to call in to a meeting from your phone. Job-Alike.org meetings can support up to 15 simultaneous participants and each participant will be able to see all other participants if calling in from your computer..

The first meeting and group protocols

As with any group, the first meeting is critical. You need to get to know each other, build rapport and, most importantly, develop a safe, confidential environment to share ideas and experiences. This may take more than one meeting and will  certainly evolve over time.
Here are some tools you can use to build rapport and establish your group.  Copies are also waiting for you in the meeting room but copies should be circulated in advan.

Regular meeting agendas

Circulate agendas ahead of time and choose a note-taker so that members who are unable to attend can stay informed. Meeting notes, along with any other materials PSN members wish to share, can be posted or uploaded to your PSN and will be private and accessible by PSN members only.  Typical agendas might include updates, concerns and challenges along with a previously agreed upon theme to share and discuss. The Resources tab has material that might inspire some of these topics although most peer groups find they have plenty of important issues to discuss.

Measure progress

Practice makes Progress. Whether qualitative or quantitative, assessing and sharing the impact with group members is critical to sustaining the effort. PSNs work when peers actively use them to get advice and share ideas on topics that few others in their sphere of influence can appreciate.
Job-Alike.org will be adding a forum for paid members where PSN representatives can share Best Practices and ideas that work so that other PSNs and their members can benefit.

Help us make Job-Alike.org work better for everyone.