A Rough Draft – Week Three

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 three: Write my first draft of the materials – send to mentors and colleagues for review.

I am proud to say I am one good edit away from sending my rough draft to my mentors and colleagues. It has been a challenging week of writing, re-writing and now editing for this project. Social life was put to the side and I set to work. Having set out to do one thing, I was pleasantly surprised this week when something new came out of the process…

While I had originally planned on developing a case study, a one-pager of communication tips and another page of “networking tips”, I decided that I would create a networking challenge. It’s a five-step challenge for students to start the act of networking and building relationships. As I started writing, I thought it would be a useful addition to the manual, and something more engaging than yet another page of “tips.” It was a welcomed change to my project and energized me as I was working on it all.

On the other hand though, my case study is still a work in progress. Every time I edit it, a new problem or situation comes to mind. I’m constantly editing it – for better or for worse is to be determined. I keep adding more information and its growing in length, but I also question if it is improving in quality with the additions. Overall, I think I’m at the stage where it needs fresh eyes, so I’m glad to be at the review stage of my goal setting. The feedback from trusted mentors and colleagues will be valuable in producing a more fluid and engaging case study. I know that I need to just have confidence in the stage it is at, but I’ll admit I’m struggling on “letting it go.”

Lastly, my communication tips are going well. The resources from last week have guided my list and this was probably my “easiest” task of the week. Surprisingly, my favourite communication tip has turned out to be listening. I feel like it is a skill that is undervalued and a little under-appreciated at times. The rest of them? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!

This process hasn’t been an easy one. With life and education and everything else, it is easy to get derailed periodically from goals and tasks. Keeping this at the forefront of my mind is important, but I find it quickly being pushed aside for working late or attending a social event that I want to attend (my friends have not completely refrained from inviting me out, which is tempting). Recently, I found myself needing a little more guidance in time management, so I did something I haven’t done in a while… I purchased a planner! A nice, hard-cover, weekly planner where I can structure out my life a little better. It was much needed and is so far working well for me.

Next step? Send the rough draft(s)! Wish me luck.

Have a wonderful week!


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