SOL- February 23, 2016
I am a professional development lover. I have been lucky throughout my life to have access to great professional development, whether paid for by my school or myself. One thing I have loved in recent years is the trend toward self directed professional development instead of always being a whole school model. I can honestly say so much of my growth has been from a distance, rather than in person, whether via Twitter, blogs, professional books clubs, or even online courses. In spite of all this, there really is nothing like live, in person professional development opportunities where the community of learners is all in one place at one time. Being an international teacher sometimes means I have more opportunities and at other times it means that my schedule does not permit the courses I would like to take (whether because of time zone issues, school calendaring, or distance). What that often means is a busy summer fitting in as much professional development as is reasonable, without taking away all of my “off time”.
Tomorrow I am applying to The Teachers College Summer Institute for reading and writing and I am nervous. It occurs to me that this is the first time in a long time that I have had to apply for PD I wanted- it has generally been a matter of signing up, not having to be selected. It has been an interesting process. I have written drafts of my application essays and yet I feel dissatisfied. It has been a valuable experience to think more deeply about what has influenced my practice, but I have found my work does not fully express my writing and reading workshop journey thus far and how eager I am to continue working on my learning. I have read so many professional books written by educators connected to TCRWP and use resources from their site regularly. I have followed the institutes vicariously over the years- initially by reading the notes of friends and more recently via blogs and Twitter, but now I am eager to jump in participate myself. My slice today feels a bit “messier” than a slice- it is a big bite of the pie I am aiming for, as I know it will be a game changer PD for me, and the fear of failure is lurking at the back of my mind. I love growing new ideas and look forward to the chance to learn with so many passionate educators. If is does not work out for this summer I know that I will take the risk again in the future as development is a process, not a one time event.