Be You has a vision where every learning community is positive, inclusive and resilient – where every child, young person, educator and family can achieve their best possible mental health and wellbeing.
We can best achieve this through a collective, community approach.
Be You Connected Communities are online spaces that provide ongoing and sustainable opportunities for educators to connect, share knowledge, lead learning, and undertake collective action for growing a mentally healthy generation.
Each community is unique. They are created, grown and then evolve according to the interests, needs, requests, and choices of educators participating in Be You.
Join a Connected Community or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explore your options with a Be You Consultant. It could mean connecting with an existing Connected Community, or starting and growing a new online community.
The value of online communities
It’s important to recognise the value and benefits of creating and maintaining an online community.
The community development processes for encouraging involvement and supporting genuine participation help create positive, inclusive and resilient spaces, and achieve the overarching Be You vision.
It’s critical for Be You Connected Communities to establish ways that members actively participate in determining and leading the directions of the group. These directions help the participants identify and achieve shared community outcomes.
Personal and professional identities evolve through engaging in and contributing to the decisions and practices of Be You Connected Communities. Active participation in this space continuously creates and defines the shared identity of the community.
As well as supporting individual and shared identity growth, being part of these communities enables us to be exposed to more ideas, more world views, more cultures and more practices. This inclusiveness and diversity fosters further opportunities for the growth and development of communities.
Your Be You Connected Community may develop a shared repertoire of resources and tools, reflect on challenges and successes in practice, map knowledge and identify gaps, invite visitors to support learning and reflection, or be innovative and identify other opportunities.
Be You Consultants are also members of the communities. They are there to assist Be You Connected Communities to independently determine and drive shared decisions about learning, reflection and action.
Eight key questions to keep communities on track
These eight questions can be useful to reflect how Be You Connected Community activity aligns with community development principles.
1. Genuine community participation: What does it look, feel, sound and act like?
2. Primacy of process: In what ways are our processes aligning with, or challenging, the principles of community development we are striving to maintain?
3. Diversity and inclusiveness: What do we really do to actively promote and celebrate diversity?
4. Wisdom, knowledge and skills: How do we show we value these in others while sharing our own as well?
5. Striving for consensus and cooperation: How do we build consensus and support cooperation while ensuring all participants feel their views are acknowledged, considered and valued?
6. Promoting self-reliance, independence and interdependence: How do our current directions identify and grow ways to promote the community’s self-reliance and independence through leveraging existing interdependencies?
7. Sustainability: When we identify a long-term vision for this community, what processes do we need, and what broader systems will influence our decisions and actions?
8. Organic change: How do we support our community to organically grow and change, and then notice and embrace the outcomes of this?
How do I choose a Be You Connected Community to join?
The choice is yours. You can find descriptions of existing Be You Connected Communities here. These communities begin in Be You online places and spaces, but grow and thrive in the relevant, supportive, empowering and sustainable ways its members choose.
Join and play a part in growing a great online community today