This blog is part of a four week series for my Professional Master of Education class on self-regulated learning. The project is to pick a long-term goal (distal) and break it down into short-term goals (proximal). For my goal I selected the following:
My goal is to begin the process of developing my teaching manual; a series of tips, tools and case studies for my future students. By the end of this course, I plan on having one fully developed case study, a one-pager on communication tips, and a chapter on networking.
Proximal goals for week two: Develop an outline of my materials for the case study – send the outline to mentor.
While my planning has begun for my teaching manual, I’ll admit I am not where I thought I would be this week. I’ve fallen short of my goal of being ready to send my outline along to my mentor. In talking with him, it sounded more like he’d want to assess my case study when I had completed a rough draft for review.
Instead of just sitting down and writing an outline (which was my original plan) I took some time to do a little more research this week and broke my teaching manual down into goals/content for each section covered in my distal goal. I did this because the overall goal was starting to feel overwhelming. To keep myself focused, I broke it down into the following categories:
As I stated last week, my case study will be a non-fictional study based on my experience at the Belleville Bulls Hockey Club. With a focus on communications, I want the students to be able to learn from our faults and see where there were other opportunities to improve our communications. Without giving too much away on this blog (especially if future students might see it) there will be three major areas for them to focus on:
- Employee relationships
- Relationships with the community at large
- Building a communications strategy
Now that I have my personal outline, I will begin writing this week and will then send this list of goals, along with a rough draft, to my mentor/professor.
In the development of my distal goal, I don’t believe I clearly explained this one. Communications is such a broad topic, and my thought behind this was something like the “marketing nuggets” in my marketing manual from Dr. Pliniussen’s class. However, since I’m thinking I would be more in the communications/PR field, I wanted to focus on the different types of communication out there to get students thinking (especially beyond social media and emails). I did a bit of research and found a few websites that I am going to explore a little further for this project:
- Explores verbal, written and non-verbal communications. Breaks them down into categories
- A numbered list of different communication skills that will lead to workplace success. Especially enjoyed her inclusion of “listening” as number one
- Similar to what I want to do, this list was a good starting point for my review. I liked the 10 ways they addressed but will also modify based on personal experiences
This one I want to write from personal experience. I’m thinking of tying it to a metaphor like learning to dance or play an instrument. I don’t believe that anyone is born ready to network, even if I believe it comes to some easier than others. I believe networking is a skill that can be developed and mastered just like any other hobby.
In conclusion, I feel I am now ready to start writing. To the advice of my professor, I NEED to just start writing. I think I know how things will unfold and am excited about the next step. While there is a lot going on in my life right now, I need to make this goal more of a priority as I feel this week it was not. For myself and my future students, I will carve out more time to work on this goal next week by prioritizing it over other events (like personal reading and going to the gym). I’m feeling a bit of the strain on my social life right now, but I’m adapting and telling myself that it is a short-term pain for long-term gain. I have even encouraged my friends to leave me to work and not tempt me with exciting social plans – we will see how that goes!