Professional Development: Committing to Continuous Improvement
My life outside of my home and my family is animated by three passions: teaching, writing, and acting. I have been pursuing each of these passions for more than 50 years. Despite this long pursuit, I will freely confess that I have never taught the perfect lesson, written the perfect book, article, or blog post, or given the perfect stage performance. Perhaps this is because I am a slow learner, but perhaps it is also because my three passions are my three passions precisely because they require a constant pursuit of a perfection that remains tantalizingly beyond my reach.
The one thing I have done is continuously strive to get better. In writing this has meant seeking feedback from other writers, reading what other writers have written, and practicing daily in search of that "just right" sentence that rarely comes. In acting that means seeking opportunities to act, participating in acting workshops, and attending as many shows as possible to watch great actors. As for teaching, trying to get better has meant continuously reading the books and journals of my profession, listening and sharing with colleagues, attending conferences, and seeking out professional development opportunities.
I have always disputed the common assertion that teachers tend to peak in their proficiency after about 4-7 years. It certainly took me four years to Russ on Reading: Professional Development: Committing to Continuous Improvement: