The rising educator strategically and successfully seeks out, synthesizes, and incorporates relevant ideas from other educators into his/her own instructional practice.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Plan and deliver instruction that is informed by proactive efforts to gain effective ideas and new or challenging perspectives from colleagues and experts.

Method Components

Why is Collaboration Essential for Educators?

Collaboration is a cross-cutting theme of Educators Rising Standards. Successful teaching is a team sport, even if there is often only one teacher in a given classroom at a time. Successful collaboration requires strategy and skill.

Rising educators understand that building relationships through collaboration with students, peers, experts, leaders, families, and stakeholders is essential. It helps teachers strengthen their practice, enhance learning environments, and invigorate the profession. Thoughtfully aligned efforts between educators and stakeholders benefit students. Collaboration requires patience, hard work, and humility, but it is essential for any teacher who promotes student learning first and foremost.

As educators responsible for students’ learning and growth, it is very common for colleagues to plan collaboratively before ultimately delivering instruction on their own. Collaborative planning offers opportunities for peers, colleagues, and experts to refine ideas so they are as targeted, relevant, and research-supported as possible.

This means frequently engaging with other educators in critical conversations virtually and in person about teaching practices.

Suggested Activities

The featured lesson or learning experience in the micro-credential submission should be planned at least one or two days in advance of its implementation. You should deliver the lesson or learning experience in an authentic learning setting.

The planning process for this lesson or learning experience must reflect significant, meaningful collaboration. This collaborative process should include:

  • At least one conversation during planning with a peer or group of peers
  • At least one conversation during planning with an expert or educator mentor
  • At least one online interaction during planning with a professional network

Essentially, you will learn from and pick the brains of other smart, engaged educators to help you develop a quality lesson plan, which you will then deliver. The collaborative process is meant to strengthen your teaching practice and benefit your students.

Engaging effectively in collaborative tasks requires certain agreements and commitments among the parties involved. These agreements and commitments include:

  • Mutual agreement and engagement toward a common goal, which in this case involves crafting instruction that will support student success and growth
  • Creation of a positive environment of trust that encourages discussion and reciprocity
  • Maintenance of open lines of communication that encourage specific, candid feedback
  • Intentional listening and appropriate responsiveness to feedback given

Some suggested strategies for successful collaboration in a group include the following:

  • Provide respectful, constructive feedback.
  • Be specific when offering suggestions or praise.
  • Use credible, research-backed resources whenever possible to guide discussions.
  • Stay focused on the topic or task at hand.
  • Use appropriate speaking and listening skills.
  • Ask for help when necessary, including revisiting aspects of the discussion if there is confusion.
  • Value all suggestions.

You are strongly encouraged to write first drafts of your Collaboration Narrative and Reflection Essay within a day of delivering the lesson. Capturing fresh memories and insights is important, and it mirrors how skilled educators have to move quickly to reflect on teaching experiences and immediately move forward.

Educators Rising Standards Alignment

This micro-credential is aligned to the following Educators Rising Standards:

I. Understanding the Profession
II. Learning About Students
IV. Engaging in Responsive Planning
V. Implementing Instruction
VI. Using Assessments and Data
VII. Engaging in Reflective Practice

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Musanti, S., and Pence, L. (2010). Collaboration and teacher development: Unpacking resistance,
  • Rigelman, N. M., and Ruben, B. (2012). Creating foundations for collaboration in schools: Utilizing professional learning communities to support teacher candidate learning and visions of teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(7), 979-989. Retrieved from,


  • Critical Issues in School Reform, Annenberg Learner
    • Video 4: “Innovations in Professional Collaboration: Making Teaching Public.” This video shows teacher collaboration through peer observations to aid in instructional improvements.
    • Video 5: “Innovations in Professional Collaboration: A Community of Learners.” This video shows teacher collaboration throughout the learning community.
  • What Are Best Practices for Designing Group Projects?
    • This website includes a guide for best practices when designing group projects. It has a link to a Word document for potential roles for members of the collaboration.
  • Sharing Feedback: Strategies to Support Collaborative Conversations
    • This website provides strategies to provide feedback in a positive manner that will initiate conversations that could lead to improved practice.

Sample Unit and Lesson Plans

Sample Videos of Skilled Teaching in Action

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To complete the application for this micro-credential, the rising educator will complete the Educators Rising Collaboration submission form. To earn the micro-credential, the rising educator must earn a score of “Highly Skilled” or “Commendable” on all components of the Part 1, 2, and 3 rubrics. If the rising educator does not earn the micro-credential, he/she is encouraged to reflect on where the submission fell short, address those areas successfully per the rubric, and resubmit. Remember to download the Educators Rising Collaboration submission form for compiling your submission here:

Part 1. Overview Questions

  • Instructional Context Overview: Complete the questionnaire provided in the submission form.

Part 2. Artifacts

  • Lesson Plan
    Submit the fully developed lesson plan that you created. It is recommended that you develop this in a separate document and then paste it into the submission form for this micro-credential.

    The lesson plan must include:
    • A clear goal and objective
    • Alignment to relevant learning standards
    • Essential questions
    • A clear progression of strategically selected activities in the lesson that will maximize engagement of all learners
    • A plan to assess learners’ understanding of the content of the lesson
    • A plan to collect relevant data from the lesson to make informed decisions on next steps
  • Collaborative Narrative (500-word maximum)
    The planning process for this lesson or learning experience must reflect significant, meaningful collaboration. This collaborative process must include:
    • At least one conversation during planning with a peer or group of peers
    • At least one conversation during planning with an expert or educator mentor
    • At least one online interaction during planning with a professional network

    In the Collaboration Narrative, concisely describe the collaborative planning you undertook to inform your development of the lesson plan featured in this micro-credential submission:

    Be sure to examine the following ideas:

    • Your collaborative processes (with whom, in what format, what frequency, etc.) for crafting the lesson plan
    • Specific ideas that emerged from your collaborative efforts and how/why those ideas are represented in the final lesson plan

Part 3: Reflection

Compose a reflective essay using the following guiding questions (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).

  • In what specific ways did the collaborative planning process you undertook improve your instruction? In what specific ways did it not?
  • If you could go back and redo your collaborative planning process for this lesson, what would you do differently and why? What would you keep the same and why?
  • Going forward, how do you specifically intend to use collaboration in your professional practice?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Collaboration
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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