CTQ and TeachingPartners are helping teachers to document and share their “Stories of Impact”
Teachers will tell you that, like their students, they learn best from the shared experience of others. Discovering the moments that shaped another’s personal journey; listening to a story of change told in an authentic voice; hearing directly about someone’s struggles and how they were overcome; understanding the genuine impact that comes about through deliberate change—these details lead to understanding and to inspiration for every teacher.
The positive impact of a personal story is especially true when teachers’ share the stories of the hard-won achievements within their profession. Every great teacher has a story that demonstrates the personal power of teaching. But too often these stories remain untold. Teachers fear that sharing their professional challenges and successes will leave them vulnerable, or make them appear boastful. Some don’t feel confident about their ability to share what they know and have experienced. As a result, many stories we hear about teachers taking steps to make a difference in their profession are exaggerated narratives of great success or great failure—stories told not by teachers themselves but by people who don’t share their experience in the classrooms, or even in the profession.
This fall, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) and TeachingPartners are launching a new teacher-driven campaign that gives voice to the positive power teachers have in shaping their professional practice. Together, we are inviting teachers to document their stories of professional impact. We believe that sharing more fully the ways in which teachers make positive changes in their classrooms, their schools, and their communities can shine a light on the many ways teachers lead within their profession. We believe sharing these stories of impact will help teachers become better partners with administrators, parents, and students, and that together we can advance what it means to be a teacher inside and outside the classroom.
The “Stories of Impact” campaign will kick off on social media with the start of the 2017-2018 school year, showcasing teachers’ true power to create positive change in their profession, and encouraging other teachers to do the same. To ensure that as many teachers as possible can take part in this campaign, we’re already helping teachers to develop and share their stories:
- We’re bringing teachers together. Beginning February 1st, teachers are invited to share their experiences and their Stories of Impact at TeachingPartners.com. In fact, every teacher who registers at TeachingPartners will be automatically enrolled in a teacher-driven working group designed to help teachers share their stories of impact. This group will be led by CTQ staff and by CTQ’s virtual community organizers, who together will provide support and conduct regular workshop sessions that help teachers showcase, develop, and share their own stories of impact.
- We’re helping teachers tell their stories. Beginning February 1st, inviting teachers to learn concrete strategies for shaping and sharing their stories of impact. Throughout the remainder of the 2017-2018 school year, virtual community organizers from the Center for Teaching Quality will host free, credit-bearing, TeachingPartners Live Collaboratives designed to help teachers bring their stories of impact to life. Available at TeachingPartnersLive.com, each collaborative brings teachers step-by-step through another part of the Center for Teaching Quality’s curriculum for documenting and sharing teachers’ professional leadership. Participants are encouraged to take part in as many Collaboratives as they like—and can apply what they learned toward receiving a Certificate of Participation and earning a micro-credential from the Center for Teaching Quality.
- We’re developing powerful examples of professional impact. Through the rest of the 2017-2018 school year, we’ll be inviting teachers to share their Stories of Impact via TeachingPartners. Then, in June, the creators of 15 powerful stories will be invited to a special Summer Storytelling Workshop in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the Workshop, participants share them each other and record them with professional film producers so that they can share them broadly when school resumes. Teachers invited to take part will receive a stipend for their efforts as well as free travel, room and board, and attendance at the three-day workshop. They’ll also be showcased in the upcoming Stories of Impact social media campaign.