Sometimes, things come together harmoniously. This afternoon I took part in a TwitterChat organised by Staff Development Forum. The theme was self-coaching and it fitted so well with my experience of Personal Development Week and similarly reminded me of a post I wrote about Professional Development in 2017 (mainly because I’m in the middle of an Edublogger blogging challenge then and now). It also encouraged me to think about my development because, frankly, I do not practice what I preach.
The sheer act of using work time to reflect on my development feels like shirking (for out-of-country readers, neglecting actual work responsibilities). I know, I mean I actually know, that development is hugely important for staff/student retention and resilience and loads of other good things. I know this. OK, I may have overemphasised how much I know this but that’s only because…
… I do not feel this… for me. Yep, I fully encourage you to go out there and learn, but me? Well, there’s probably some data entry I should be doing.
In fact, as I write (which is my go-to tool for reflection and wellbeing) I am worried someone will come into my office and think I am shirking. And I need to understand why I feel like this because this very week is dedicated to personal development in my university – hello!? Also, my writing does link to my job role at the moment. So the very process of analysing my feelings towards development can be used in my department’s reports. Again – hello!?
One of the topics I spoke about in the TwitterChat is how a lot of my learning is self-directed. This stemmed from anxiety, but just grew into self-reliance because I trust myself with my learning. But despite spending a lot of time as a lone wolf, I like teamwork. Although, physically, I have been missing from most of the Personal Development Week workshops I have taken part.
I think I am an attendee. But, on paper, I am not. The worrying thing is that this is what is being measured. The act of being present is an indicator of engagement.
I like the Staff Development Forum TwitterChats, and I like the Edublogger blogging challenges because by their very nature – remotely linking people – they acknowledge and illustrate peoples’ different development methods.
I’m leaving my office today with three main thoughts (that I aim to think about over the weekend):
- How do we enable development, and ensure we cater for the people we can’t see?
- How do we move past the un/deserving of development opportunities feelings?
- How do we reframe development as something just as important as our day-to-day work tasks?
Also, here are my new socks 😀