As teachers we are asked to constantly reflect not only on the learning of our students, but also on our teaching methods. If two-thirds of my class bombs an assignment, I immediately realize it was my failure to get the point across. That makes us better teachers. Now, even though I am no longer in the classroom (feel free to read my story HERE), the method of reflection is still engrained in me and I think that makes for a very professional outlook on life.
As 2012 comes to an end, I know that my own professional life has been a whirlwind of sorts - and one that I am grateful for. Each time each of you returns to my blog to find an old blog post, a hidden freebie, or just stops by to leave a warm comment, I feel on top of the world. Who knew that a retail manager turned teacher turned teacherpreneur would be so successful? I never did, but the want to find great teaching ideas and share them with all of you has been my motivation from the start, and I will continue to that trend as long as I feel you are still interested.
As teaching professionals, most of us are required to have some sort of Professional Development Plan in place. When I was in Florida, it was called a PDP. My fellow Ohio teachers will recognize IPDP as the correct acronym. While I don't currently have a plan in place, I do have a professional bucket list.
When I taught in Florida, I earned my gifted endorsement while working on a Master's degree. I have spoken at state level conferences (on several occasions). I have published pieces in the Ohio Association for Gifted Children's quarterly journal. I have worked with a team to do a study for the state about the achievement gap (that was an interesting process and one I had never been a part of before.) I earned my Master's degree in curriculum and instruction, then chose to earn an additional 12 grad hours in order to secure a grades 4 and 5 endorsement. I have had a proposal accepted for the National Association for Gifted Children (darn budget constraints couldn't make that one happen, but I could at least partially cross that off my list). And now, I am beyond proud to share that I can cross another biggie off my list, even though it probably means more to me than anyone else: Something of mine was published in the Scholastic Instructor magazine!
Now for most, not a big deal. It doesn't state my name anywhere. It isn't something I wrote. But nonetheless, I have always read Scholastic Instructor (I have a subscription) and to see my Facebook fan page's name IN PRINT on the glossy page - that is a pullout poster! - was something I was proud of. I am so excited to share with you all everyday on the fan page to facilitate questions, find fun resources, and even post quotes that keep you moving, so to be mentioned in a publication that I hold in the highest regard made me feel over the moon.
When I was in the classroom, I would have NEVER dreamed that I would be mentioned in this publication, let alone for social media (WHAT?!). So if anything, I have taken the view that you never know where those professional wants will play out and how, but keep doing what you do best and always think of your customer first (in your case, it is most likely your students). Your spotlight will shine just as brightly as mine did the day I opened up my magazine in the mail. :)
What is on your professional bucket list? Earn your PhD. speak at a conference, be a grade level chair, earn your National Board Certification, or something else? We would love to hear below!