The new features and enhancements in the cloud-based, myFolio online platform are more than a clean, new look. They are an expansion and a demonstration of what Folio Collaborative is all about – and why more than 20,000 faculty and staff at over 150 independent schools grow and learn every day with the support of the myFolio experience.
What’s new in myFolio is what matters most: defining specific and achievable individual goals, understanding and relating to school vision and strategy, and being part of an active, supportive school community.
As with everything at Folio Collaborative, myFolio’s new features were developed by school leaders for school leaders.
For over a year, a group of independent school leaders has been delving into the goal-setting and collaboration process as part of a grant from the E. E. Ford Foundation; their insights and recommendations guided the creation of the new platform elements. Folio engaged noted behavioral economists to apply their expertise in personal motivation and decision-making. And based on the thousands of comments, questions, and ideas from Folio members that come as part of their participation in the Collaborative, myFolio was re-imagined and refreshed.
To see more about why myFolio is what it is, click here.
Here are some of the new features in myFolio:
With Themes, school leaders will identify the school-wide priorities that will inspire faculty and staff’s individual professional growth goals. From a robust list of possible topics such as DEI, mind brain education, technology literacy, they can select the ones most relevant to their school’s mission, vision, and strategic direction.
As faculty and staff consider their goals for growth, these Themes will serve as their guide.
To be most effective and satisfied, people want to see how their individual goals fit into a bigger picture. Faculty and staff who believe that they are working toward something meaningful and larger than themselves are more productive and engaged than those who do not understand or connect with their environment or organization.
Themes in myFolio connect faculty and staff to their school’s strategic priorities, thereby tapping into this need for a larger purpose while also moving everyone in your community in a common direction.
School leadership teams can work together to determine their Themes for the year. This process could begin by identifying the school’s strategic priorities for the school year, such as ensuring equitable experiences for all students, developing a financial model that reduces dependence on tuition, or improving the distance learning experience for students, families, and faculty/staff. The team can then consider how the school’s strategic priorities align with the school’s work with faculty and staff around professional growth.
In the five-step Goal-Setting process, faculty and staff will:
- align their individual goals for professional growth with their school’s priorities – “Themes.”
- identify specific, achievable and measurable goals
- reflect on what is required to achieve each goal
- consider the possible barriers and challenges for each goal
- develop a plan for overcoming obstacles and moving forward
This enhanced process is based on behavioral economics principles around habit formation and goal attainment. The more clearly we articulate a plan, the more likely we are to achieve it. Faculty and staff who set clear goals and receive consistent feedback are motivated and more likely to adopt a growth mindset, be self-driven, and demonstrate resilience and innovation when faced with new or challenging scenarios. And the alignment of individual goals with school priorities enables them to see “purpose,” thereby increasing motivation, productivity, and job satisfaction.
School Community Feed
The new School Community Feed is a place where faculty and staff can share insights and best practices, ask questions, provide resources and ideas, celebrate together, and support each other.
Adult learners benefit from professional growth that is purposeful, collaborative, relevant, and timely. Often, “the knowledge is in the room” – faculty and staff have the answers, resources, and ideas that their colleagues are looking for. The School Community Feed allows them to share that knowledge.
The School Community Feed is especially important now. Remote teaching makes it hard to create and maintain the culture, community, and camaraderie that faculty and staff value. This new feature in myFolio is how they can stay connected., which strengthens faculty morale and teachers’ sense of belonging. It’s also a great way for school leaders to see and hear what is on the minds of their teams.
These new features make the other features in myFolio even more meaningful, including tracking progress towards reaching goals, shining a light on the good work of colleagues, and encouraging regular honest conversations with mentors and guides.