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 four: Establish final draft of materials.
Things piled up and the final draft is still a work in progress – I couldn’t let go of the editing process. I had intended on sending things along this week to my mentor and got sidetracked by personal and professional life. I had grand plans of designing my communication tips page and my networking challenge to look a lot more impressive than a word document, but haven’t had the chance yet.
My case study is feeling a bit more formalized, and I’m currently editing it down to a shorter form with a less wordiness. Some of the case studies we had in class last semester were pages long, and I had to really reassess the goals of this first case study and what I wanted the students to accomplish with them. My goals for the case study, in the end, were: for them to see the challenges, assess the situation, and build a communications or community relations strategy. This way the students had a choice based on the information they have (implementing an aspect of SRL – Choice).
In terms of this project, however, the highlight of my week was having a short group discussion with my fellow classmates. It felt good to talk about the challenges we are facing – the main one being a prioritization of time. We all picked projects that meant something to us, but I think a couple of us picked goals that meant something more long-term. For example, I’d love to have an elaborate teaching manual in the future for my classes, but I’m quite a long way from having my own class and therefore this isn’t a priority of mine right now – which affected my dedication to the project as a whole (even if I have completed rough drafts).
If I could go back to the time when we picked our goals, I think it would have been more realistic to focus on a few other goals – more specifically things that affect me the shorter term. These could have included making sure I kept a gym schedule or working on my time management for my Masters. From selecting this goal of working on my teaching manual, I realized how important other goals are for me right now, and how self-regulated learning can come into play…
My self-regulated learning (SRL) skills have been more dedicated to the Master courses I am taking as a whole. Of course, there are days where I would rather socialize or binge watch Netflix, but I’ve prioritized my education at this point in my life. The SRL skills I have developed over the years have come in handy with this because I have prioritized it. However, I would say that my inquiry project didn’t get the level of dedication it might have deserved because of the lack of priority in my life.
I keep thinking about how I might have regulated myself better in terms of this project, and I think it was a matter of priorities. Because I saw my readings and engagement with the online community as a priority, my project suffered. Because I saw that I still have time to finalize and perfect a teaching manual, my project suffered. I felt energized when writing my case study, but quickly was sidetracked by other priorities (such as social events or completing other work).
The whole concept of SRL has been an incredibly interesting one for me, and I have to say I have learned an absolute ton. And, as can happen, I think I’ve learned more in the failure of my completing my goal than in the completion of it. It has made me assess the whole process differently, engage in meaningful conversations with fellow classmates, and changed my mind on goal setting moving forward.
Thank you for challenging me and following along on my process. I appreciate the opportunity to learn from not just a final product, but the path I traveled to achieve it.