Mentorship Means Community

The one thing academy alumni, Mandy Brown, didn’t expect to get from mentoring was the very thing she needed while in a previous role. Read more to learn what mentorship has meant to her.

 

Mentorship Means Community

 

One of the most astounding aspects of mentorship has been seeing my impact. That wasn’t always something I had. When I worked at the restorative justice program, learners entered and left the program on individualized plans, and if they never returned, the leadership assumed all went well. (Given that this population was highly transient, this assumption was and remains problematic.)  

 

Returning learners often forgot all the work we’d done from their last trip through the program. They’d remember me but have lost the learning we’d worked so hard to achieve. 

 

So either I’d never see them again, uncertain of the results of my work. Or I’d see the same learners repeatedly and notice how...

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MOVE! Or You Will Be Moved

 “Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are your comfort zone”  - Billy Cox

Get UP! Move!

Move from what?

- Move from that comfort zone!  Because you know what you need to do to move forward, but you're scared and only doing just enough to get by when you can be doing something extraordinary to reach on to the High!  You hear what I’m sayin! MOVE YOURSELF!  I know right now jumping into it  you’re scared, you’re afraid, you can’t see the outcome, your mind is telling you ‘what if I can’t’… I get it.  But once you jump into it, you create an experience that can take you farther than you could even imagine.  I’m telling you… You Have to MOVE, You Have to GET IT because if not then somebody else will and that’s...your... Opportunity...TAKE IT, EMBRACE IT, CREATE IT AND GO GET IT!

 

Testimony of a Former...

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The Job Search Journey

 It goes without saying that the job search can be a daunting process. Some may describe it as a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but since I had to work so hard to get to the “ups”, I prefer to describe it as a long journey with steep hills and deep valleys. I learned early in the process that making a career change was no stroll in the park.

After I enrolled in the sixth IDOL courses Academy cohort in January, 2021, I found it difficult to put all of the time and effort that I needed into developing my skills as an IDOL as I juggled my teacher responsibilities. I wondered when and how I would ever find the time to do a serious job search including answering recruiter contacts and interviewing. The thought of another short summer leading to yet another year in the classroom, and putting off my career change, just felt wrong, so I took a giant leap of faith and officially resigned from teaching at the end of May. 

My last day working as a teacher was...

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Interviewing: Land Your Dream Role with these 5 Tips

I don't know about you, but once I felt like my resume and portfolio were ready to share with the corporate instructional design world I knew my next step was to start applying for jobs.  This is the part that scared me the most.  I knew the time I spent learning in the IDOL courses Academy had given me the tools to build a strong portfolio and transition my teaching resume to instructional design.  If your resume and portfolio are not quite where you want them to be, check out these two great resources before jumping into your first interview.  IDOL Resume Writing Guide and Build Your Online Portfolio are helpful if you are looking for a jumpstart. 

I also felt confident in my ability to perform my instructional design skills once hired as an instructional designer in the corporate space.  The problem was that I hadn’t interviewed in over 8 years and that was for a teaching position.  I knew I needed to prepare for my...

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Power of the Portfolio: The Key to Becoming an IDOL

You’re thinking of becoming an instructional designer, or maybe you’re ready to start applying for jobs. You think to yourself, how can I make myself stand out to employers? How can I build confidence as a new ID? The answer: a portfolio. 

Yes, really.

The power of a portfolio unleashes all of your darkest fears. Creating a portfolio allows you to take that leap into the unknown, and scream, “this is me and I want everyone to know it!” The first step to getting over imposter syndrome is to believe in yourself; so what better way to put yourself out there than with an organized, visual representation of who you are? 

Who are you exactly? You are a learner, curriculum developer, problem solver, eLearning developer, and instructional designer - and so much more!

 

Here’s a little backstory. 

I am new to corporate and higher Ed instructional design. Most of my pre-ID professional experience was as a high school science teacher. After...

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Peer Review: Make It Work For Everyone

Using peer review is a great way to grow your skills, while also developing a strong community of colleagues. It’s a useful tool in any field, but it’s especially valuable for us as instructional designers because it shows a commitment to ongoing learning. 

I have used peer review in all kinds of professional contexts, from teaching in higher education to my work consulting with clients on instructional design projects now. My many experiences with peer review have included teaching others how to use it, as well as giving and receiving peer review from others. From these experiences, I have learned that peer review can be a rewarding experience for all involved, but only if it is practiced with the intention and care it deserves. These are my tips for effective peer review for everyone.

 

Tip #1: Peer Reviewers Are Expert Reviewers

Peer review is the process of peers giving structured, focused feedback on in-progress work. In this context,...

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Surprises During My First ID Job

 Before you get that first job in Instructional Design, you might have a lot of questions and wonder what reality will be like. What skills will I use on the job? What tools will I use the most? What will the role really be like? Will my actual job be close to the job description? Will there be any surprises? I mean, what in the world does an Instructional Designer even DO?!

Of course every job, company, and person will have a different experience. But I will share my own experience so you can get a glimpse into what you might expect in your job from my perspective. For more experiences, check out Gretchen Johanson’s blog post Lessons Learned During My First Big ID Project or check out the IDOL series: Diary of a New IDOL by Kristi and Veronica.

Some things I expected or assumed going into my first Instructional Design job. However, some things surprised me.

 

The Top 3 Things that Surprised Me:

1. You might be the only instructional designer on your team....

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Recap: The Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge

 This has been an exciting week for IDOL courses offering the first free Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge. Over 1400 people joined the challenge. The crowd has been diverse, with teachers, graphic designers, instructional designers, and others who want to jump start their careers in 2021.

As part of the challenge, everyone received a workbook, and every day this week, Robin held a live training session empowering people to take the first steps in creating a hiring manager avatar, identifying their ideal IDOL role, and developing portfolio items for the job hunt. The transition to becoming an instructional designer is a challenge, but it is easier when you are not doing it alone. 

This week has been full of community and working together toward goals, asking questions, and learning more. Strangers formed accountability groups and helped each other on the path to a career in instructional design. This is a significant first step in networking. Networking is an integral part...

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Work-Life Balance: Teacher versus ID

          A few years ago I took a leap of faith. I left a decade long career in Education to become an Instructional Designer. Since then, I have been desperately trying to convert my teacher friends as if I found a new religion or something. I am that passionate about what I do. I want them to have what I have – lower stress and a more balanced life.

         Teachers are teaching during their eight hours at the “office.” So where do they fit in the time to plan lessons (A.K.A. design instruction), grade students’ work, make phone calls to parents, and all of the other things for which they are responsible? They do it in the evenings by staying late at the school, taking their work home to do after dinner, or both. They show up early in the morning to prepare the day’s lessons so class can run smoothly.

         Personally, I used to arrive...

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Making Your Own ID Opportunities: An Educator's Journey Into ID

Are you a passionate educator  feeling educator fatigue? Do you feel like you have what it takes to make a career transition into instructional design, but don’t know how to get your foot in the door? Are you looking to rekindle your passion for education? I have been in your shoes, I have felt exhausted and I made a change. With hard work, self-advocacy and the wonderful IDOL courses Academy support system I was able to successfully transition from the public education system into the corporate world as an instructional designer, and so can you!

 

In an unfortunate era where Arts programs in schools are losing funding and shutting down rapidly, creating opportunities and advocating became my most valuable skill set as a public school teacher. One of the best pieces of advice ever given to me as an Arts teacher was, “You have to create a program that is too visible and concrete for them to silently take away.” This meant creating community outreach...

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