A project of Deeper Learning, the Share Your Learning campaign highlights the value of having students present their work to authentic audiences. In sharing their stories of learning, students reflect on their growth and engage in real dialogue with others about their accomplishments and their futures. To get started, teachers can sign up to join a community of educators encouraging students to produce meaningful work for an authentic audience. After signing up, teachers can download one of the toolkits and have their students publicly share their learning via student-led conferences, exhibitions of student work, or presentations of learning. Then they can post an image or video on social media using the #shareyourlearning hashtag or upload directly to the Share Your Learning website under the Community tab. Share Your Learning aims to have 5 million students across the US sharing their stories of learning by 2020. That goal will require the participation of 300,000 teachers!
Every district is on a journey. The incredible part of serving as a superintendent is having the privilege to help guide that journey based on what students need to be successful. When I came to Gunter ISD seven years ago, our students and staff were highly successful (test scores, extracurricular success, college-entry, etc.) yet our students, staff, and school community yearned for something more. At the same time, districts across the nation were launching technology initiatives, from BYOD to 1:1 with a multitude of devices. We were largely unable to journey down that path at the time due to a number of challenges. This shaped our journey immensely.
Sir Ken Robinson once said in a TED Talk that "Teaching is creative profession."
I love that line.
Because of systems in place, as well as cultural stereotypes, and Mrs. Crabapple from The Simpsons, it is very easy to believe that teachers are just walking textbooks, or playback machines, or mindless dictators (ok, maybe I can be a little dictatorish sometimes). But these descriptions are limiting, because at the heart of teaching is creativity.
As teachers, we must check our systems for
equity each time we walk into our classrooms. The key word here is “systems,” for
without thoughtful practices, even the most well-intentioned among us fall into
the old traps of expediency, implicit bias, and tradition. Here are a few
practical structures I use as equity checks that take very little time to