Guest Post: Professional Bucket List

We’re thrilled to bring you guest posts from teachers just like you here at the School Outfitters blog. Our first guest is Brian Smith, an educator from North Carolina, who will be blogging with us over the next few months.

Bucket List, or, a list of activities and experiences that a person would like to see or participate in before they “kick the bucket” or pass away.

I have had a bucket list for years and what I came to realize is that my bucket list was a lot of professional aspirations. My name is Brian Smith and I am the Responsiveness to Instruction/Professional Development Facilitator for Newton-Conover City Schools. I also teach as an adjunct professor at Lenoir-Rhyne University but if you ask me what I do, I will answer that I teach Kindergarten because teaching is what I love and when I’m in the classroom, Kindergarten is my favorite. I have been married for 15 years to Liz Smith and we have a 10 year old daughter, Ella.

My bucket list included things like skydiving, having a student teacher, doing a TED talk, visiting Australia and attempting to write a book. As you can tell, there were two distinct types of events/activities on my list. What I ended up doing was creating two different bucket list. I have one for personal objectives and the other one is a list of things that I want to accomplish professionally.

Teaching is a hard profession and the burnout rate is high. We have all seen the statistics or, at the very least, the Facebook videos about good teachers leaving the profession. What I have found is that my professional bucket list provides me with new challenges, which in turn, helps me keep my passion about teaching. By writing down and revisiting my aspirations, I am continually aware of where I want to go and I stay on the look-out for opportunities to help me reach my goals.

I believe that most teachers consider themselves life-long learners but what can end up happening is that our Professional Development can have such fragmented areas of learning that we are pulled in a multitude of directions without any expert ideas about any of them. By figuring out what our passions are and figuring out where we want to go with that passion, we create a professional bucket list item that we can work towards. We can take advantage of opportunities that help us reach our goal and say no to other opportunities.

My professional bucket list currently includes teaching children’s literature in a university setting, doing a TED talk, earning my doctorate in education, and creating a successful series of author talks for the students in my school district. By having my goals in the forefront of my mind, it makes me selective in the professional development and opportunities where I choose to participate. Of course, every district mandates teachers participate certain professional development and what I have found is that if I embrace these PD classes, occasionally, those PD opportunities turn into new passions.

Connect with me, dad2ella, on Twitter and Pinterest. Use #teacherbucketlist to follow along.

I want to hear from you. Please share what is on your professional bucket list!

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  1. School Outfitters Publishes Newton-Conover Educator’s Blog Post | The Compass - March 9, 2015

    […] weekly for Scholastic.  However, today, School Outfitters published Brian’s blog post:  Professional Bucket List.  Check out what Brian has to say on the School Outfitters website. […]