Most educators I know are humble. They come to school, plan and prepare, work their magic with students, maintain their own learning and typically do it with a smile. We love our jobs and making a difference with children. But since education is a service profession, we tend not to recognize or celebrate our efforts as much as other careers even though we have bachelors degrees, masters degrees, doctorate degrees, additional certifications, special talents and skills, years of experience and more. And that should be celebrated. This is why I love the idea of creating collective resumes.

Collective resumes celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of a given group of people. I first found this idea from DeannaWeeks Prunes on Facebook. She shared the collective resumes her teams of teachers created to kick off their Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s). Intrigued, I explored the idea a bit more and found a few more examples to helpme visualize the idea so I could add the idea to a page of my coaching sketchnote book. You can find another example from Christina Tucker in my Leading by Learning group here:

I found that it is the perfect idea to launch a learning community among groups of teachers, especially at the beginning of the year or the start of a new initiative. And it works equally well for in-person communities and virtual communities, too.

Here’s how it works:

  • First, gather a group of teachers together. This activity works especially well with grade level teams or PLC members rather than a large group.
  • Have each teacher individually list their accomplishments and skills. Ask them to note the degrees they have, numbers of years experience, teaching certifications, special strengths and skills (professional and personal) and more. List them all.
  • Now, the fun part! Challenge teachers to combine their accolades together to represent a collective resume for the group. How many degrees does the group have? How many combined years of experience? Which special skills are represented? What are the strengths of the group? Elect a note-taker to capture these cumulative accomplishments.
  • Finally, it’s time to showcase teachers’ special talents in a collective resume, a combined list of accomplishments. If you’re working together in person, you might chart everything on a large piece of chart paper to hang on the wall. Or, if working virtually, teachers could create a personalized Google Slide representing their team instead. And the best part about going digital? These slides can be combined together in a larger collection to showcase teams of teachers across the school. Better yet, you can add to it over time and experience, telling the story of the teachers who work together.

The very final step? Celebrate! Take time to celebrate and share the completed collective resumes and encourage teams of teachers to browse each one created, getting to know teams of teachers even more than in the past. It's the perfect way to kick-off the school year, but it’s also a great activity for anytime teachers need a pick-me-up to remind them of what they bring to students each and every day. And we all deserve a bit more of that.

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