Educators are collaborating within Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in schools and districts across the state of Texas. In doing so, they are putting in place practices aligned to the Vision. And, as a result of this “better together” mentality, students are reaping the benefits as their teachers focus on a shared commitment to learning for all.
Last week I shared the importance of modeling the work. As an extension of that, let’s consider how we, as instructional leaders, share the work we are doing as a portfolio of our own learning.
I encourage you to resist the temptation to wait to share until a project you are working on is perfected. Rather, consider the journey you have taken to create the product. The story of this journey is one worth capturing for yourself, through reflection, and one worth sharing with others.
So, where do you begin?
My recommendation – don’t try to go back to the beginning of your time in your current role. Rather, select a recent artifact of your learning – one that you would mention if someone asked what you are working on lately. I have noticed this provides me with an impetus to make significant progress on the work and the ability to clearly and succinctly articulate the value of my work.
So, what do you include?
My recommendation – capture at least one photo or video. Images support story telling and make the portfolio eye-appealing and memorable. One solid image can paint a strong picture of the work you are doing and anchor your words as well. Tell your story by clarifying the why, how, and what you have created – others may benefit from your own reflection.
So, what platform should you use?
My recommendation – commit to learning one thing – either the platform OR the process to summarize your learning. If you feel the idea of capturing your work into a portfolio seems overwhelming, then choose a digital tool that is more comfortable for you. If you have your work organized already and you are looking for a place to showcase it, then consider stretching your learning to a new platform. It can be exhausting to attempt to organize your learning into a story for your portfolio AND learn a new digital tool at the same time. Here are three digital tools to consider:
What other platform do you recommend to others as they begin to build a portfolio of learning?
In the coming weeks, I will share more tools to support the work of teachers as members of professional learning communities and the potential outcome: high levels of learning for all students.