The mentors in my PLC are needed because they have walked the path that I am traveling. They are able to give advice, warn me of stumbling blocks, and to encourage me through tough times. These are the coaches of my online community. My supporters consist of family and friends that are there alongside me cheering me on and not accepting any type of discouraging statement, even if the source is self-inflicted. They are my cheerleaders. Then there are my teammates, people who have also chosen to pursuit more education. They are people I've met in classes with whom I've bonded, people from other schools, but on a similar path, or people who I've found through random internet meetings who seem to fit within the community.
I've been told my mentors that it can be hard to maintain relationship and connections when earning another degree and that outsiders may not understand when we when we have to say no to social engagements My PLC helps eliminate some of that loneliness because I am surrounded by people who genuinely want to see me succeed. I can vent out my frustration to people who understand. I can get advice on time management. My PLC is what keeps me on track for seeing this journey through to the end.
Though my husband is sometimes right that I am browsing for more pins to add to my Pinterest board instead of locating sources for more scholarly research, I am sometimes using the internet for other productive reasons. The internet has helped give me access to otherwise inaccessible support from people who are near, but also pretty far away. The access to the internet has been to gain support, encouragement, and knowledge. My PLC is what keeps me connected to people, my goals, and to continuous learning. So next time I hear him chuckle behind me, I will simply respond with a playful grin, “Hey, I am working."