Sparked by some recent experiences and great conversations with Bryan DavisAllison Taylor and Nick Schwab I’ve been reminded of the importance of taking the initiative to develop myself.  I’m actually stealing this idea from the former CEO of Kroger, David Dillon. He says “The advice I give to individuals in our company is not to expect the company to hand you a development plan. You need to take responsibility for developing yourself.” My takeaway from this is, if this is what is expected at Kroger, how much more should professional educators be expected to continue to learn and develop themselves?

As we close out 2015 and head into a new year,  here are three things I’m going to commit to and make part of my self-development plan.




  1. Use Twitter to share, connect, learn and reflect.  I will closely follow 3 people or one hashtag that I want to learn with or more about. I will interact with them and tweet what I am learning or a question I am thinking about at least once a week.
  2. Read a non-EDU Book — slowly. I think this is a powerful practice that will help me break out of the education bubble and bring in new perspectives and ideas to my work. I’m a really slow reader though. Really!! Some of this is due to dyslexic letter reversals, but I’d like to think that it is because I’m savoring and digesting the text not just gleaning it for information. Currently I’m reading and rereading The Pause Principle and A More Beautiful Question.
  3. Sharpen Search Skills – We live in a digital world where information is boundless! Because information abounds, it is imperative that I know how to search, manage and make sense of it all.  A Google a day (or maybe once a week) and this Inside Search course will help me gain the skills I need to stay on top of the flood of information.

If all the educators in your department, at your school, or in your district made and shared a self development plan with just three things in it, what would happen?

I hope you will accept this challenge and share your self-development plan on Twitter using the hashtag #selfdev3. The way I’m going to do this is to tweet out the challenge to 3 educators I know and encourage them to post their plan and then challenge 3 others to do the same.

It could be a flip. It could be a flop, but either way it will be learn worthy.

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