When I speak at conferences or lead workshops, one of the ideas that I try to stress to educators is the importance of showing our work. It’s something I’ve always believed in but my belief has strengthened each year.
One of the books that I got a lot of encouragement from is Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work.
So many of his ideas resonate with me. As educators, we truly have an opportunity to show the world what is happening within the walls of our schools. I share at least one thing every single day on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook about the work that is going on in our public school library.
I do this for many reasons. The biggest reason is that it amplifies the work of my students, teachers, and families. It shows that the work that they are doing matters and deserves to be seen and heard by a global audience.
Another reason I share is to inspire other educators to take risks and try something new. I’ve gained so much from reading the tweets, pictures, and blog posts of fellow educators around the world. People like Jennifer LaGarde, Tiffany Whitehead, Matthew Winner, Sherry Gick, Kathy Burnette, Nikki Robertson, George Couros, Todd Nesloney (and many more than I can list) inspire my thinking. They push me to innovate, to try something new, and to offer more opportunities to my community. By sharing my work, someone else out there will see something we are doing and twist that idea into something new. Someone out there will try something they weren’t even thinking about.
Finally, I share my work because it defines for the world what is happening in a public school library. Without sharing, many assumptions are made about what happens in public schools. It shouldn’t be a mystery to the public. You can look through my blog posts, Instagram pictures, and Tweets and see that our library and school are filled with miraculous things. Everything isn’t perfect, but it has value.
Usually, when I share my work, I add hashtags like #edchat, #edtech, #studentvoice, #tlchat, #istelib, #makered, and more. This sends our work to specific audiences. This week, a new Secretary of Education was sworn in. There has been a lot of controversy around Betsy DeVos and her views of public education. There has been a lot of controversy about her lack of experience with what actually happens within public schools. So…I decided to occasionally share with her on social media some of the things happening in our public school library.
When I did this, several people in my professional learning network started having a conversation around showing the great work of public schools. Sherry Gick, Rebecca Flowers, and more started brainstorming a hashtag. Many suggestions were offered but the brilliant author/illustrator Matthew Cordell offered this one #PowerOfPublicSchools
Kristina Holzweiss created a graphic, and we all started sharing it along with our posts of the great work of public schools.
I hope that you will join us. Show the powerful things that are happening in your school and use the hashtag #PowerOfPublicSchools
Use our graphic within your networks to encourage others to share.
Also, consider tagging people who need to see the power of public schools. Perhaps it’s local, state, and federal government. Perhaps it’s businesses in your community. Perhaps it’s someone else.
Regardless of who you might tag, show your work. You never know who it might inspire, influence, or change.