I found another online community that I can use to help further my knowledge of teaching. The name of the group is NGSS which stands for Next Generation Science Standards. This one has to do with Biology teachers that are primarily in high school but there are some info and lessons that would fit into the middle schools easily as well. Within the group, there are biology teachers from around the country that help each other with standards, lessons, ideas, textbooks, labs, and lots of other great resources.
I find this very helpful for as a new teacher or a teacher that wants to mix things up and add different material. I plan on asking questions and then helping others when I can as I learn more. This expands the learning community from just the school and town that I live and teach in, to a much larger scope of assistance.
As a new student teacher in the MAT program, I looked around to find some help with ideas in the classes that I teach in. One place that I found some inspiration that I could use is a facebook group for high school art teachers. In it, there are a couple thousand members from all over the world that give advice and tips on art projects and classroom management. It is also a place that one could post a question and get great feedback from some experienced teachers. So far it has been great. I plan to try some of the ideas and later in the future I will give back some tips that I develop in my classroom.
In addition, staying in touch with others in the teaching field and same discipline just makes sense. The more one can collaborate with the wisdom of the masters, and stay up to date with any new ideas and development, the better our students will benefit.