Are you growing?
When I think back to the past 6 years of my teaching career, I did not personally seek out professional growth. I had monthly mandated professional development (PD), and grew how my district wanted me to grow. This is not the growth I'm talking about.
It's about the growth you seek out. The content, research, books, blogs, and new ideas that you're interested in. The things that excite you and push you to do better. The films you watch over and over because they ignite a spark in you.
While listening to a podcast, I found this image below. I love how it talks about what teachers want for professional developement. How can we, as teachers, step out and follow our students' lead if PD is being "assigned" to us from the top down? Read through the image below. Do you agree? Which one or two stand out the most? (leave a comment below)
I want to be able to choose areas in which I want to grow and learn more. I also value PD that is taught/lead by other educators. They know the challenges and constraints we have in the classroom, and I feel like I can be more vulnerable and honest with them. Numbers 3 and 7 standout to me. I want to be able to go back to my room and implement something right away, or have the tools to do that. If it can't easily transfer to my classroom, then why would I need that PD?
For the 3rd time recently, I watched the film 'Most Likely To Succeed'. If you haven't seen it, please go watch it NOW! It's available on itunes and amazon. This film is not just for educators. It is also for every parent. I hope it ignites a passion to advocate and demand the best for your child/student. Every single time I watch it, I am yet again, inspired to continue empowering students by letting them lead. This film explains how education in the United States started and has not changed much in 100 years. It follows a high school class throughout the year as they embark on projects and cross curricular work and collaboration. The parents' faces with tears of pride and joy at the end make me cry. The fears of these parents at the start of the year are valid and to see their child grow in areas they didn't know they could by the end of year was amazing.
All the PD and books studies you do mean nothing unless you're in the spot of wanting to grow yourself. I can't change anyone or push anyone into growing. I wish I could. It would be alot easier. But change is not easy. It is a personal desire that chases after this growth.
I remember years ago, looking at teachers who were excited to read an educational book, exctied to attend professional development, and spent their own time and money on growing, and thinking they're crazy. I was in a season of my life that I had no extra capacity to engage in these things or feel excited about them. I had a variety of things going on and was getting married and starting a family. I envied these teachers. I wanted to be in that season of life that allowed this professional growth.
I forget that others may be in a season like this. A season where no extra margin is there for professional growth. That's ok. It's a season of life, and it will pass.
When that season passes and you have margin to invest in your professional self, DO NOT HESITATE! The personal rewards, relationship and knowledge gains are immmeasureable. My investment in myself has pushed me to do better and do what's truly best for my students.
When will you start? What are your action steps to start growing? How can you advocate for yourself to have more teacher lead/choice PD?
If you need help getting started, below is the link to a previous post with book recommendations.
- Twitter- Retweet this blog post while tagging me on twitter (@mrsnortonkinder) with an action step or how you've grown this year.
- Instagram- Post a picture (as a post or through your stories) reading this blog post, and tag me (@kindyteachingmom) with an action step or how you've grown this year.
I'll add your name to a drawing and send the winner a gift to help get you started on your professional growth. Giveaway window closes on Monday, February 18th at 5pm!!