Exploring Personal/Professional learning, one day at a time.


Professional development is a daily pursuit of improvement. It requires small steps, critical reflection and feedback, and venturing just beyond where one was yesterday! Sometimes, when we're ready, we can leap into new adventures but it's the small daily steps that lead us...

A Clear Destination

To use our focus and energy optimally, having a clear destination is critical. A lack of direction zaps creativity & stalls innovation. How do you ensure clarity of destination? Every day is a PD day. #myPDtoday

You Don't Have to be Alone

Some days it's easier to handle change. There are many reasons for this but it doesn't make us any different if we seek out help & support. Changes doesn't need to be done alone. Every day is a PD day. #myPDtoday

Pause to Make Progress

Often, when people begin to discuss change, it often is focused on what will be lost or what we’ll have to give up. Whether it’s changing our diet or making changes to our lifestyle patterns or even as children grow, change has a tinge of loss - what will no longer be. Even when we know that the change will be positive and is expected to bring better things into our lives, there is still a sense of loss of what was. This quote by @arzyn captures this idea beautifully.

What I appreciate about this is the idea that, no matter the change, there is loss of some sort and we need to be able to acknowledge this loss so that we can readjust our routines and mindset to make room for the change. In order to continue to grow, we must realize that the growth we seek will change us and we need to pause and allow time for that change to manifest itself in our lives.

Change is inevitable. How we approach this the change can make all the difference as we move forward.

Change is an opportunity for growth but it takes time & often requires us to pause & make adjustments if we want to continue to make progress. Every day is a PD day. #myPDtoday

Stand Still - Focus on Thriving

Today's world is busy with something vying for our attention. Taking time to stand still is important to help us refocus on our destination, identify what we need to progress & plan to thrive!

As I was rushing around today trying to make the calls I needed to make, email the people who needed to be emailed, drop off and pick up the people and items I needed, I found myself becoming more and more conscious of how my time was being used on "doing" and I had spent very little time on "being". As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize how important it is to take time to stand still and just be. People have a wide range of ways they do this. For me, it’s taking time to be quiet and take in the beauty that is around. It’s that conscious decision to "Stand Still". I truly wish someone had taken time to help me work on this years ago although I was probably hustling so much I wouldn’t have appreciated what they were saying.

It’s something that has taken me a while to figure out. I start my day, or try to, with time in quiet reading, planning, writing and just focusing on what the day will bring. I also try to take time throughout the day to just "stand still", quiet myself and focus on the people and my surroundings instead of myself and whatever is going on. This moment helps me to refocus. I take a moment to then see what are the truly important things that I need to do that will allow me to thrive. Some days it to thrive as a husband. Others days its as a father. Today it was to thrive as a researcher. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t trying to be my best at other things but I’ve learnt that by directing my energy, I not only thrive in a particular area or two but I am also better able to manage my energy for other things because I have made a conscious decision about how I am going to use my energy.

Each day we have the opportunity to try new things, explore new ideas and new places. Take time to ‘stand still’ - focus your energy, decide where it will be best used in order for you to thrive.

Every day is a PD day!

See the Positive - Build on IT!

Often in our day-to-day interactions and the work that we do, there are many positives that take place but we don’t often take time to see them. Instead, we spend a great deal of time on the things that didn’t go well or mistakes or where we think we failed. Even when these happen, there is often things that were positive that we can build upon.

For sure there are times when we negative things happen. This past year my mom passed away and it took me a while to slow down enough to spend time grieving for my loss and then discussing that loss with my wife and children. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I went to help install her headstone and spent some time just sitting that I was able to begin the process of healing.

Even in this, I was learning about myself, my family, the process of grieving and dealing with loss. It wasn’t easy but there have been positives come from this. Most of the setbacks and problems we deal with can teach us many things if we are willing to look for the positive and take time to see the positives that are taking place around us each day.

For me, I’ve been using a gratitude journal each evening to just focus the end of my day on what is going well, what I am grateful for and what has gone well. I also include what didn’t go so well along with what did I learn and how can it help me tomorrow. This way, I am slowly building toward seeing positives and moving toward solutions.

Each day is filled with struggle with some days seeming to have one after another. Don’t allow people to tell you that just being positive will make this change. It won’t. In fact, as an educator with all that is happening, there can seem to be days that this happens. That’s okay. However, you don’t have to deal with this alone - reach out to co-workers, friends, write a journal, connect with other teachers online. Don’t try to deal with it all in isolation. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times and struggle with seeing the positive. Many of the teachers I have worked with and those I consider close friends who I have met online have shared that there are struggles. Sometimes many struggles. And it’s okay.

Finding the positive sometimes takes effort. It requires us to begin to shift our gaze just a little. Sharing our positives can help in slowly making a shift. Learning comes in many forms, shapes and sizes, it’s connections with the people around us, the children we spend each day with, our online connections, the information we take in, and so much more. Indeed, it can happen at any time, any where. Being open to it sometimes requires us to shift how we are seeing what is happening around us. Sometimes we need help from others and that’s okay.

Thanks to my friend @datruss for pushing me to get back to this. I appreciate the push!

Every day is a PD day.

Every Day is a PD Day

Connections bring us together with other people, introducing us to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Although this is crucial for learning and growth, there is also the possibility that it will create too great a dissonance, causing us to draw back and resist. We often believe that everyone thinks like us or at least in a similar way. However, as we connect with a greater number of people, we are brought in to contact with a wide variety of ideas and worldviews. If we don’t step out beyond just connecting, the possibilities for learning and growth are greatly diminished. However, if we share our experiences and what we see in the world around us and are open to others sharing their experiences and what they see, we open up the possibility for growth and learning.

Each person is a unique individual who has something to add to our experience. Ask questions, listen intently, engage in conversation. In a world that is filled with the possibility for personalization, building connections and sharing with others requires us to shift from "Do unto others" to "Get to know and treat them as unique persons". We need to respect their dignity by accepting that there may be differences in how we might see things which requires a more personalized approach to connecting. As our connections grow and develop, people who treat those around them as unique, worthy of knowing, provide the opportunity for a personal connection built on sharing and learning. Applying one-size fits all formats to connections leaves us missing the opportunity to learn and grow.

How willing are you to personalize your approach to the connections you make? How much time do you take to ‘listen’ to what people are sharing with you in order to get to know them? When you meet with parents or other community members, how often do you provide them with the opportunity to tell you about themselves? When you are connecting with others, how focused are you on their experience?

Connections - explore personal uniqueness.

Every day is a PD day.

Every Day is a PD Day

Connections allow us to reach out beyond our immediate surroundings, connecting with people on a global level. We have access to an over abundance of information which can overwhelm us if we don’t have habits and routines to help us. Part of this is using the connections you have to help filter and curate information, creating a system that helps you manage your energy and time. How do your connections help you to manage the flow of information you see each day? What routines or systems do you use to help manage your energy and time related to accessing information? How do you avoid getting overwhelmed by the information available?

Connecting allow us to touch the world.

Every day is a PD day!

Every Day is a PD Day

Connection - what we do today sets off a string of events that makes a profound difference in the lives of many. You won’t see anything right away. You may not even know it happens but our connections today have a rippling affect that spreads out and touches tomorrow. How do you want your connections today to touch tomorrow? How do you hope your connections with touch those around you? Do you take time to think about how your connections affect others? Do you have connections you know need your attention? What do you do about these connections?

Connection - Touching Tomorrow

Every Day is a PD Day

Every Day is a PD Day

Connections - they shape our days, affect our moods, provide us with information and bring us all sorts of information. We have a greater affect on those with whom we connect than we often understand or even think about. A simple smile has been shown to improve the mood of a person. Connections provide an opportunity for us to grow while having an affect on the world around us through how we approach the interactions that we have with others. How often do you think about these connections? About how you want others who meet you and interact with you to feel? How do you want others to feel when they connect with you? Are you clear about how you want interact with others?

Connections - Opportunity to Grow

Every Day is a PD Day!

Every Day is a PD Day

Feedback is important for growth and development. We need to know how we are progressing and where we are successful and where we need to put in more energy. Feedback helps us to direct the energy we have, using it to progress toward our destination.

Seek out a trusted other who will be honest with you and help you use the feedback you get to seek improvement. It takes a grain of sand to create a pearl. Seek to find the grain of sand you can turn into your own pearl.

Connections are important for our growth and development. The more we are willing to seek out feedback and critically reflect on it, the more we can seek to improve, helping us toward our destination.

Connection - feedback for growth.