Often, we may not think we have time for personal and professional development but not making time leads to becoming stagnant. Purposefully plan time for your personal and professional development igniting passion. Going deeper means learning more and gaining more giving you a renewed passion and purpose in your career and life.
"At the beginning of an oak's life, when an acorn first sprouts, most of its energy is spent on root development, with little growth above ground. The initial root is the taproot, which grows deep underground, seeking a dependable supply of moisture. Once this is accomplished, greater foliage and branch growth can begin."1 Going deeper in your life with personal and professional development sets you up to be STRONG. By reading books, listening to podcasts, growing in health, habits, and spirituality, and attending workshops and webinars, you'll develop deep roots. Going deeper ensures stability when life's storms come. They will come, but you will have invested in yourself and you won't be uprooted.
Like a mighty oak tree, the roots of what you've invested in yourself and your mind run deep. It isn't seen, but the fruit and foliage of the investment sway in the wind for all to wonder. Your investment yields growth, passion, purpose, self-awareness, self-discipline, balance, motivation, and so much more. What used to cause you to become overwhelmed will no longer uproot you. You will now be able to self-assess your own professional and personal needs and be STRONG for your students and life.
How do you achieve it?
Get out of your comfort zone-All growth takes place out of our comfort zone. Staying complacent doesn't ignite our passion. Trying new things, learning new things, and going deeper ignites passion. Say goodbye to your comfort zone.
Assess your needs- What do you struggle with? What fires you up? Seek to learn more about those topics. What gets you overwhelmed? Learn how to manage your emotions with strategies like yoga, taking a walk, self-care, and mental health tips. Seek to learn more about self-care and mental health to ease anxiety and bring peace.
Be patient- We all want instant results. We live in a microwave world with internet access to all answers to our questions within seconds. However, life unfolds on a different time line. We can take our cue from nature. Last year, I transplanted some lilies. After I transplanted them, they didn't flower. Why? I think they spent their energy putting down deep roots. This year, one year later, they flowered the most beautiful full flowers ever. It got me thinking about our lives. Great things take time. It takes time to invest in ourselves and see the fruit of the investment. Keep at it. Be patient.
Read. Lots. -You've probably heard the adage: Readers are leaders and leaders are readers. Educators are leaders. We need to stay on the cutting edge of our practice and profession. A great way to do so is by reading professional development and personal development books. Fuel your mind with topics you are passionate about and share your learning with others.
Surround yourself with people that are moving and grooving and going where you want to go-Educators love to teach. Connect with others that do what you admire. They'd love to share what they know.
Get plugged into Twitter. #PLN -On every social media platform, you can connect with like-minded educators from around the world. I used to not know about this. Since I've learned about it through Twitter, I've gained multiple new perspectives about teaching and student needs. Professional Learning Networks (PLN) are invaluable. Of course, seek them in your own community too. If you aren't on Twitter, start an account and get connected with like-minded educators. There is a gold mine.
Search for webinars, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and books that feed your interests both personally and professionally.- During the pandemic lock down, I had new found time at home. I aspire to be a better writer so I took some online writing courses. (Please don't judge my writing. I'm trying.) Accessing professional and personal development has never been easier. We can learn from the comfort of our home in our PJs with our favorite beverage.
Be intentional- By nature, educators are life-long learners. However, it takes being intentional to continue to grow and go deeper. Intentionally assess your needs for your life and your students. Seek out books, podcasts, webinars, training, and conferences that meet your needs. Once you learn, don't shelf it. Be intentional about scheduling implementation of your new learning. Adding just one or two new things a quarter or school year brings more passion and purpose to your career and life.
Don't be afraid to fail- Trying new things and implementing new things can be scary. Almost every time I try something new, I learn how I can do it better. Please just try. You may not do it perfectly like the person you learned from, but try. It may fail. It's okay. Fail forward. It's okay to let our students know we are trying something new. It's important for them to see us learn from our mistakes so they are free to learn from their mistakes.
Share- Spread your new found passion by sharing with colleagues and friends. Your growth is contagious. You'll be a passionate change agent.
This is just the tip of the ice burg for going deeper but it's a great place to get started. Ignite your passion and purpose. Go deeper.
This is part 7 of a 7 part series: STRONG Educators
Read the others here:
Part 4- STRONG Educators Rest & Revive
Part 5- STRONG Educators Omit Negative
Part 6- STRONG Educators Never Give UP
Part 7- STRONG Educators Go Deeper
What ways do you "Go Deeper"? I'd love to know.
You make a difference!