Originally posted on the Secondary C&I website on 1/5/2018
I love the start of a new year for a variety of reasons. I love buying new calendars, organizers, and seeing that expanse of possibility as I look out at 365 new days to learn and grow. One of my favorite parts of being in the education profession is that our profession is filled with people who love to learn. In fact, many of us loved school so much that we never left.
As you look out on your 365 days of possibility how will you plan for your own continued learning? Here are some of the best ideas that I recently collected from RPS educators:
Plan a time each week to read professionally.
Many people are taking advantage of our “flipped book group” that will meet this winter called Bundle Up with Books. This is a great way to ensure that you set aside time to read, since the way the class works is that you bring your own professional reading (book, magazine, etc.) and spend time actually reading during the book group. Heather Lyke and Katie Miller facilitate this and the best part is that you get to actually read that stack that you’ve been meaning to get to.
Listen to a podcast.
If you are new to podcasts these are basically audio broadcasts that you can listen to at any time. They are great if you spend a lot of time in the car since you can listen as you drive. One of my favorites is Principal Center Radio.
Edutopia also suggests these:
Schedule time to network with those outside of education.
When I asked people what they do to continue to grow and learn a surprising pattern emerged. Many people find inspiration from thinkers outside of their chosen field. For instance, Julie Ruzek (the RPS coordinator of Coordinator of Family and Community Engagement and Title I Programs) commented that “the most productive meetings/ideas/outcomes have happened when I've collaborated with people both in and outside of education. Sometimes we forget that people outside our chosen profession have much to offer as well!”
Surround yourself by people who love to learn.
Cultivate relationships with those who are constantly reading, seeking feedback, and trying to improve themselves. If you don’t work directly with these kind of people, find a way to have lunch or coffee with them regularly to keep yourself energized and inspired.
Put yourself in situations where you are the student.
This might be taking a college class, learning a new type of yoga, or learning to rock climb. Putting yourself back in learning mode helps you remember what skills and dispositions are most important for learning something new. For example, Michelle Baines (RPS music educator) commented that she“recently took some classes at the college which helped [her] remember what it is like to be the learner!”
Here’s to 2018! Have a wonderful year learning and growing!
This post brought to you by Heather Willman, APOSA overseeing Secondary Curriculum and Instructional Coaching
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