Do You Read? Professional Growth

"Do you read?" was the question posed to me by an administrator years ago when I was juggling classroom teaching, financial constraints, raising three young children and navigating the needs of a large extended family.

"Read?" I replied, when do I have time to read?"

That question stayed in my mind as I watched that administrator embrace new ideas and boldly pave the way for some wonderful teaching and learning paths. I liked many of the ideas he was putting into action, and I was challenged by his question.

So when life started taking on a more reasonable pattern, I began to carve out the time to read and write related to my professional journey, and to quote Frost, "that has made all the difference."

This experience leads me to two conclusions.  First, asking the right questions inspires action, and next, it's advantageous for administrators to consider the busy, financially-strapped lives of young teachers who are often balancing families and teaching.  As part of that consideration, administrators can help those professionals make time for advantageous professional reading and research by giving them professional days during the work week, extending planning periods and sending them to conferences or professional workshops during the school day.

I have time to read and write now, and that has impacted my work exponentially.  It shouldn't be the case however that you have to wait until you are older and have more time and money to do the professional work that is essential to teaching children well.
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