If you’re anything like the me-of-two-years-ago, your desk has a growing stack of books and professional magazines that you keep intending to read and you’ve accumulated an ever-growing list of books and blogs that you want to check out eventually. Over time, your stack has grown and the list gets longer; in the meantime, you’ve rarely made a dent in the stack—rarely crossed a title off the list.
It’s not surprising that I, an educator, have a thirst for learning new things. A thirst resulting in tall stacks and long lists of ‘Must Reads’. However, since I am an educator, it’s also not surprising that I often find it a challenge to carve out the time to learn all the new things I want to learn—to carve out the time to read.
Lucky for you, the me-of-today has stumbled upon a few tools and structures over the past few years that have greatly changed my ability to tackle professional reading. My book and magazine stack has gotten shorter. I’ve actually begun to cross a few titles off my ever-growing list.
Rethink your Resources
During the school year my schedule is packed. How does a busy educator squeeze in a 250+ page book about educational best practices when there are classes to teach, lessons to plan, assessments to develop, data to comb through, IEP meetings to attend, parents to contact...? Most of the time, you can't. So, skip the 'book', but still do the learning.
My approch to during-the-school-year professional reading became much more managable when I embraced other ways to access new learning.
Schedule Time to Read
This may seem like an obvious statement; but, at least for me, it's easier to say than do.
Sometimes, I need to sit down and read a physical book or magazine. When the book isn't available in an audio version or if I need to annotate the text as a way to read it critically, then I simply need to schedule time in my calendar to read. If I don't, it likely won't get read.
Some scheduling tips:
Utilize a Professional Learning Network
For me, it's easier to actually get some reading done if I have someone to hold me accountable: this is the benefit of having a Professional Learning Network (PLN) that reads together.
In addition to the technology resources mentioned above (OverDrive, Audible, podcasts, calendar reminders, etc.), consider using a resource like Feedly to help manage any blogs that you want to check out on a regular basis. If you would like to learn more about this resource, check out this previously written blogpost.
Wondering what to read?
Looking for other ideas for how to manage professional reading?
Consider checking out our #RPSLead Twitter Chat that took place on May 17, 2017.
Should you have any questions about the resources named above, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I would love to help you tackle your professional reading, maybe even become a part of your PLN. Until then, hopefully some of these ideas from the me-of-today will help you the way they did the me-of-two-years-ago.
This post brought to you by Heather Lyke, Secondary Implementation Associate
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