Advocacy through stories: What is your professional learning impact?

While Title II has been maintained for the 2018 budget cycle, in large part due to the voices of educators, including many Learning Forward members, we are not in the clear. We must continue to advocate for high quality professional learning, a critical component of the work of all educators, to ensure that vital funding and resources are available. By sharing our stories about the work that we are doing, we paint a picture of the process and highlight the impact on our own learning and the learning of our students.

Through story-sharing, we provide evidence of the importance of engaging in and fostering professional learning that increases teacher efficacy and student achievement. The Learning Forward Foundation shares the stories of its awardees not only to inform the practice of others, but to provide data points that exemplify the importance of professional learning for those in the profession and for those who influence how dollars are allocated.

Each of the foundation awardees has a problem of practice that they are addressing, ranging from developing a shared vision of professional learning to creating strategic approaches to design learning systems. They are in various places in developing and implementing solutions to their problems and measuring the impact of their work. Over the course of their journey, the foundation aims to support their work, as well as share their stories to provide data that is part of influencing the greater conversation about high quality professional learning.

Join us! We encourage you to tell your story to those in your context who influence how professional learning dollars are allocated. Learning Forward offers several tools to help you tell your story in the most compelling way, and the organization would also like to share your stories with a broader audience.

Here are some tips and resources for writing and sharing your impact story.

  • When composing your story, aim for approximately 500 words, and address these three questions:
    • What is your problem of practice?
    • How are you addressing the problem?
    • How do you know what the impact is?
  • When preparing to orally share your story, review the Laser Talk EPIC Acronym for practical tips.
  • When socially sharing your story, consider a variety of channels, including:
    • Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email, your Website, and more
    • Learning Forward: Share Your Story: https://learningforward.org/get-involved/tell-your-story
  • When identifying your audience, extend your reach by sharing with your:
    • Team, administration, and community
    • State legislator
    • Congressmen

Check out Learning Forward’s Taking Action resource for additional ideas:

The Learning Forward Foundation awardee stories are just a few of the thousands of stories that can be told about the impact of high quality professional learning. Help the Learning Forward Foundation and Learning Forward advocate for professional learning by telling your story. You can also support this important work by making donation to the Foundation.  https://foundation.learningforward.org/

About the author

Christine Corbley is Co-Vice-Chair of Publicity on the Board of Directors of the Learning Forward Foundation and Past-President of Learning Forward Washington.