I try to participate in Student Affairs Chat every few weeks. It is a group of Student Affairs professionals from across the country that come together electronically to discuss various issues and current topics in the field of Higher Education. While I don’t get to contribute as often as I like, I definitely consider participating in the conversation and catching up through the backchannel to be a form of professional development.
Coincidentally, yesterday’s chat topic was professional development, and it made me think about all the ways I want to improve- not just as a practitioner, but as a person. One of my friends mentioned that she plans her professional development up to a couple of years ahead, and I was completely floored by the idea. I think I’ve lived all aspects of my life in crisis mode- basically handling things as they come. I’m lucky if I can plan a few weeks or months ahead! But I was also inspired.
So, in order to set a plan to improve myself or develop, I need to know what I’m developing! People can make positive changes in their lives, but those things don’t generally happen without forethought. I decided to set a few short term goals- both personally and professionally, and figure out how to work toward them.
- increase support in the areas of gender and sexuality on campus, specifically that of our female and LBGTIQ populations
- increase support for students with mental illness on campus, including reducing the stigma, coordinating workshops, and making resources more visible
- improve my curriculum writing skills for our First Year Seminar. I think I have done a good job at providing useful and relevant material- now to figure out how best to apply it in the classroom.
- start a professional blog
- devote more time to my creative side
- make certain specific life changes so that I live closer to and truer to my ideals
- do a better job of making my friends and family feel loved and appreciated
- spend more alone time with each kid