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The Four Seasons of Professional Development Goals for the New Year

The Four Seasons of Professional Development Goals for the New Year

We’ve heard enough of the ‘New Year, New Me,” mantras. But while it’s not necessary to making lofty goals that will only discourage you when not meeting them, setting some small and realistic professional development goals for the new year is always a good thing.

That’s what Fred Ende, the assistant director of Curriculum and Instructional Services for Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES is doing according to his post for ASCD SmartBrief.

"While each calendar year doesn’t necessarily have the same 'fresh slate’ feeling as a new school year, it provides an opportunity to reflect upon the previous January through December, and then think ahead to hopes for what the next year will bring,” Ende says.

Ende discusses his “four professional learning wishes” he wants to fulfill in 2016, and they may be very similar to your own wishes as an educator.

He divides his wishes up by season, seeing as each season in education brings with it entirely different challenges and victories.

For this upcoming winter, Ende says, he hopes to "keep the wonder spirit up, and appreciate all the learning opportunities that exist during a season that can often have us hunkering down.”

He aims to take care of himself, too, a professional development goal that many busy educators forget to acknowledge.

"I want to curl up with a number of great books, alongside a warm cup of tea, and read. I also want to brave the elements a bit, as often, extreme conditions help us think through situations a little bit differently.”

In the spring, he wants to push harder to be an innovator, testing for himself new products and tools that could benefit his classroom before they are introduced- or mandated- first.

Ende wants to make an effort to be first-in-line rather than a “first follower to "have the privilege of making those initial mistakes, and being the first to learn from them.”

Indeed, Ende is not alone here. A study this year revealed that a majority of teachers wish they had more say in EdTech, being able to determine and test products and tools before being required to use them.

In summer, Ende wants to make “summer slide” into “summer sprint.

Ende wants his learning to pick up the pace in the summer months as opposed to embracing the slowness of the season.

"My wish for the summer is that my learning will go just as fast as it does throughout the rest of the year, and I’ll learn more, and not less, during those ‘slower' months,” he says.

Last but not least, in fall, Ende wants to be more accepting of the failures that occur in the beginning school months.

"While I understand the importance of failing, and while I enjoy the forward moving kind, I think I tend to be least accepting of failure in the early months of the school year (and end of the calendar year) because I’m concerned it will leave me starting off on the wrong foot.”

"And yet, those beginning months of the year are the perfect time to be trying new things, experimenting, and making mistakes, if for no other reason than they can help direct my progress as the year proceeds.”

Here’s to the rest of your school year in 2016- and may all of your professional development wishes come true.

Read Ende's full article here. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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