Texas Teachers Defeat Professional Development Procrastination
in Four Simple Steps
The 6-hour update
One of my most vivid school-related memories as a child is from the fourth grade.
I wasn’t a huge fan of science.
Rather than working on a science fair project over the course of the month we were given to prepare, I waited until the night before the science fair to tell my parents I needed help.
What followed was anger, frustration, tears, and a frantic attempt to throw together a project.
The next morning, as I stood there flanked on one side by a working volcano and on the other side by a cute boy with a solar-powered hot dog oven, I swore to myself that I’d never procrastinate again.
Famous last words!
I wish I could say that day marked the end of my procrastination career, but it wasn’t.
In reality, procrastination is something that
most of us deal with in one way or another.
For some educators, procrastinating affects grading, lesson planning, or paperwork. Professional development is another area where I procrastinated many times in my career.
For those of us teaching gifted classes in Texas, it’s the annual 6-hour update that usually ends up at the bottom of the list.
I totally get it.
When your list of things to do is long enough to roll down the hallway, nearly everything seems more important than professional learning. Whether you enjoyed it in the past or not, every Texas teacher in gifted and talented education is required to complete six hours of professional development each year.
The other day I read a great article by Renee Jain on the Huffington Post title, “4 Steps to Help Your Child Defeat Procrastination.”
The article has some great tips for helping our students avoid procrastination, but it also has some principles we can all apply when it comes to professional development.
Here is my adaptation of Ms. Jain’s article: 4 Steps to Defeating Professional Development Procrastination – The Texas Teacher Edition
Procrastination Buster Step 1:
Cut Yourself Some Slack
So it’s May and you still haven’t completed your professional development.
You could spend hours beating yourself up and being frustrated at your procrastination. You could lose sleep at night worrying about it.
OR you could just cut yourself some emotional slack. “Here’s the thing, beating oneself up for procrastinating only makes the situation worse as negative emotions inhibit self-control,” says Ms Jain.
Being a teacher is demanding in ways that no other profession can truly understand.
Cutting yourself some slack, means giving yourself some room to breath – it doesn’t mean you don’t have to get your professional education done.
Procrastination Buster Step 2:
Channel Your Inner Dr. Who
Ms. Jain says children should “Time Travel” and imagine what tomorrow will be like if they do or do not procrastinate.
Well, sometimes we’ve already procrastinated, but we can still channel our inner Dr. Who.
Step into TARDIS and imagine how getting professional development checked off the list now will not only improve the summer but will also improve your classroom.
“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint, and begin to build.” Robert Collier, twentieth-century American author
Professional development is one way that we can begin building the type of gifted classroom that we’ve visualized and imagined.
When you register for your 6-hour update through TAGT On Demand, you can hand pick courses that:
- Address issues and challenges you’re facing in your G/T classroom
- Apply to your area of specialty
- Feature industry-leading trainers you admire
- Explore brand new topic and ideas
Procrastination Buster Step 3:
Take the First Step
Ms. Jain adds that “A large part of the problem of procrastination comes from feeling overwhelmed about the entirety of the task.”
Taking the first step is often times the hardest part. But, as Mary Poppins says, a job “well begun is half done.”
TAGT On Demand makes taking the first step simple and convenient. Just register and review the 100+ hours of courses available from recognized experts in gifted education including: Joyce Juntune, Ph.D, Ian Byrd, James Webb, Ph.D., Timothy Gangwer, and Lisa Van Gemert.
Procrastination Buster Step 4:
Start With the Easy Part
Often times getting your 6-hour update completed means sacrificing an entire Saturday to sitting in a hot gym listening to a random topic.
TAGT On Demand allows you to complete your professional development at your own pace, whenever you have time to fit it in.
You can even complete courses from your phone or mobile device!
With TAGT On Demand every step is easy!
Just start with a 1-hour course to see how easy it can be to get your 6-hour update complete.
As Ms. Jain says, “Getting the ball rolling with an enjoyable part of a task often acts as a gateway to further, more complicated work.”
With TAGT On Demand taking that first course will make you realize just how much fun advanced learning opportunities can be.
TAGT On Demand won’t help you get your grading done on time, but it will help Texas Teachers conquer procrastination when it comes to professional development!
Delivering Quality Training – No Matter Where You Are
Did you know that this course is mobile ready? That means you can complete the course on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, or any other mobile device!
Photos courtesy of flickr via terren in Virginia, Photo Extremist, williamsdb, & Celestine Chua