Fall is my busiest time of year and life seems dominated by work. It’s work I enjoy and I get to collaborate with outstanding leaders and educators across the state. But, there are days when I just need to let the work go a bit and spend some time in what Stephen Covey called Quadrant Two: not urgent but important activities that focus on personal and professional development. I started today by cleaning up my desk and shelves. I’ve been sort of shoving stuff there as I come home between events and now that life has settled down for a few weeks, things can go to their proper places.
I have been using my personal time to play the guitar almost every day. I know *how* to play the guitar but needed something better than the old Mel Bay books to move me along to actually playing the guitar in an enjoyable way. I’m using a great app called Yousician that creates lessons for me and tracks my progress. It is challenging enough to keep my interest but not so difficult that I can’t keep up. The practice mode allows me to go slower and work through difficult passages. I like the way the app focuses primarily on playing but also has a learning track related to music theory. (I’m playing minor blues scales right now.) I enjoy escaping to another room away from the office and just playing for fun…no pressure to achieve other than to please myself although I am motivated by the gold stars!
Professionally, I know what I want to do but I seem to keep putting it off: I want to earn Google Level 1 Educator certification. I have a test code tacked to my bulletin board and had plans to do it this summer. It didn’t happen and I had a revelation the other day that there was never going to be a perfect time to do it. So, I am just going to figure out how to work in study time. My plan is to complete Google Fundamentals Training with a goal of taking the exam before the end of the year. Then I can participate in the VSTE training for Level 2 in the spring.
Frankly, I’m a little nervous…I haven’t taken an exam of any kind for a very long time. I’m going to see if others want to join in with me to study. MOOCs might be dead, but I think there is still a place for people learning together and supporting each other professionally. I’ll post my study schedule later today and then push it out via the Google Plus communities in Virginia. I’m not imagining anything formal but just a group of fellow travelers who help to hold each other accountable.