In December, I visited five Folio member schools—from California to Maryland—to hear from teachers about how Folio can best support professional growth. The big takeaway from these conversations came down to four Cs: context, clarity, culture and contemplation.
Context: Teachers appreciate “scaffolding” around their professional development activities. This starts with context – understanding and connecting to a larger mission and vision, be it a school’s philosophy or department goals. Relating a teacher’s PD to something larger serves as a constant reminder of why they are being asked to do tasks and use tools (like Folio).
Clarity: Articulating clear, specific goals is critical in making Folio an effective tool for managing growth. When expectations are defined (such as how soon after a meeting to record a Note) there is less frustration and less friction﹘and more focus on working towards individual goals.
Culture: Educators said that when Folio is embedded in the school, it creates a culture of learning and collaboration that encourages growth.
Contemplation: To deepen the PD experience, the most effective schools intentionally and consistently create time for reflection. The real value of growth comes when teachers are given the space to pause and think. Reflection (such as “why did that work?” or “why was that mentioned?”) should be part of the learning process, not merely an afterthought if a teacher remembers (or finds enough time).