In the ever-evolving classroom environment, we as educators must constantly refine and adapt our practice to meet the needs of every student. Whether through Pinterest boards, YouTube lesson demos, or conversations with colleagues in the faculty lounge, I find myself and my fellow teachers increasingly turning to informal, unconventional methods to develop and hone our craft. Micro-credentials are another way to support this quest for ongoing professional learning and gain recognition for the time and commitment it takes to do so.
This fall, I participated in professional development (PD) provided by Hope Street Group and Learning Forward on “Standards for PD.”The work ties neatly with my current role as a Teacher on Special Assignment, as I’m often tasked with providing PD to my colleagues. During this experience, I was introduced to the Designing and Facilitating High Quality Professional Learning micro-credential stack. By submitting for these micro-credentials, I was able to apply my knowledge from training in my practice and then reflect on the process and growth I made professionally. Ultimately, these micro-credentials recognized my time and commitment toward action-oriented professional learning for educators in my district and the students they support.
One thing I found helpful as I submitted for my micro-credentials was the adaptable process. The demonstration of learning can occur in a variety of ways. The two I earned – Apply the Attributes of Standards-Based Professional Learning and Evaluate the Impact of Professional Learning – provided valuable resources and tools I could access before, during, and after my work.
In the case of my micro-credentials, I was asked to plan PD with specific goals in mind. To demonstrate this competence, I needed to supply evidence that showed how this new learning played out in action. The tasks were things I normally do in my daily job, but through the micro-credential, I was able to enhance them with intentional planning and thoughtful reflection.
I believe micro-credentials offer tremendous value to educators. Through micro-credentials, educators are given recognition for the daily work they are already doing while also being pushed to authentically reflect on that work in practice. The personalization afforded by micro-credentials, along with their direct application to classroom teaching, creates opportunities for powerful educator professional learning.
Learn more about earning the Designing and Facilitating High Quality Professional Learning micro-credentials here.