Share Your Story
Advocacy begins with telling your story.
Stories compel an audience to feel, understand, and act.
Answer the questions on one of these tools to plan how you will tell your story:
The above tools answer questions that create the story that decision-makers need to hear about the challenge you needed to overcome, the professional learning solution you implemented, and the impact – supported by data - it had in your community.
- Challenge: What is the problem or need in your school, district, or state that you seek to address?
- Solution: What have you already done to address this need?
- Impact: Most importantly, what was the result of these actions?
Data makes your story persuasive
As an educator, your story can have even more impact when you collect and share data that are most relevant to your context. Quality data includes:
- Test scores
- Participation rates
- Attendance records
- Survey data
- Demographic data about teachers and students
- Retention rates of teachers
- Qualitative data about engagement or efficacy
Identify the data you already collect that relates to the story you are telling. For example, if you are telling a story about how professional learning initiatives build the capacity of educators working with English learners, look for data that illustrate the need (e.g. gaps in student learning) as well as data that show the progress made as a result. Keep in mind that you do not need a lot of different types of data or large sample sizes – you need to zero in on the data points that illustrate the story.
Present your story data succinctly
Finally, it is important to take the time to present your data in a format that is clear and succinct. Your story needs to provide enough information to grab the reader’s attention while also being digestible and shareable. Keep your words brief and make the data prominent and easy to see at a glance. A table or simple chart is helpful if the data is telling a “before and after” story.