October 6, 2021 | 0 comments
The New Share My Lesson: Resources to Help All Students Thrive
Announcing the relaunch of Share My Lesson: the community you love, with an even easier way to collaborate on just-in-time resources to help all students thrive.
When the AFT launched Share My Lesson back in 2012, we had a vision of designing a virtual space where all educators could find and share on-demand, high-quality and free classroom resources, including the best educator-created lesson plans, learning materials and teaching practices. It was important to us that the technology was simply an aid and not intended to replace educator professionalism and expertise.
Since then, SML has evolved into a vibrant, 1.9 million-member community that also offers for-credit professional development webinars; relevant lessons that span the curriculum and all grade levels; and never-more-needed health and wellness sessions. During the pandemic, Share My Lesson became so many teachers’ go-to—hundreds of thousands more people joined the site, because it’s accessible and on point. But we realized that wasn’t enough.
This has been such a scary and difficult time. We talked to our members and realized we needed to change to make this community—a community people love—into something easier to use and more responsive to the changing times. So Share My Lesson stepped up into a new role, helping educators and parents navigate the shift to remote instruction and embrace the teachable opportunities related to the ongoing challenges our country faces, from racial injustice to environmental sustainability.
In surveys and focus groups, we listened to our members and content partners over the last year. We heard what you liked best and where there was room for improvement. We took to heart what you wanted. This redesign is in response to what was clear YOU all wanted: something that is easy to use and easy to search, and that reflects what educators, school staff and families truly need to help all students thrive—socially, emotionally and academically.
Your ongoing participation is what’s allowed Share My Lesson to grow and flourish. Together, we all share in the AFT’s mission of giving all children the freedom to succeed and thrive. And now, today I’m thrilled to introduce the relaunch of Share My Lesson.
Among the many new pluses you’ll find in the reimagined SML:
- A robust search feature, with easier and faster ways to find the content you want and the resources you need.
- Role-based search functions, content and collaboration spaces—all customized to meet your specific needs whether you’re a parent or caregiver, a teacher, a paraprofessional, a specialized instructional support person, or a higher education faculty member. You can now collaborate more easily in revamped online communities centered on how you interact with kids and colleagues.
- Streamlined ways to move around the site, with fun and engaging new illustrations and graphics.
- The latest news-related lessons and blogs, plus resources for “topics to address this month,” whether it’s celebrating America’s immigrant heritage, teaching civics education, or understanding and honoring Juneteenth.
- All this with the same high-quality content from trusted partners and the same popular, proven features, such as lesson plan sharing and user ratings.
The way I see it, this relaunch comes at just the right time. As I travel around the country, I see firsthand how our students are returning with immense needs—including a need to prioritize social-emotional learning and learning recovery. America’s educators are doing all we can to help meet those needs. We believe that the SML community can play a unique role in giving educators, school staff, parents, families and caregivers the tools, resources and inspiration to help our children recover, grow and find joy in each day again.
Take a look at the new SML and tell us what you think. My hope is that you’ll find the new site to have the just-in-time resources you value, along with a fun and easy way to collaborate and connect.
SML is here to support your students’ needs and your professional development goals. We have your back as we face the continuing unknowns this year could bring—while never forgetting our mission to foster excellence in education and provide a safe and welcoming environment to enable students, families, educators and staff to truly thrive.
RANDI WEINGARTEN is president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members’ work.