Week Nine Final
Professional Development Plan
March 24, 2012
Dr. Jessica Dorland
The Professional Development Plan of Heather Sharkey
Choosing a career path can be one of the most exciting, challenging, and terrifying decisions that a person can make in their life. More often than not individuals will find that throughout the course of their lives they will change their career path several times. I have always truly known that teaching was my calling, yet for years I have floundered from one unfulfilling position to the next. My decision in the summer of 2011 to partake in the adventure of returning to school has turned out to be a most rewarding one ...view middle of the document...
Considering that both of these goals are so closely linked together, in fact one actually hinges on the other; the challenges for reaching them are one in the same. As well as being a full time student I am also a mother, wife, and full time preschool teacher which makes my challenges more personal than anything else. Finding the delicate balance between every obligation is crucial for the overall success. As any multifunctional woman knows, time is precious and must be used wisely and productively to maintain order, balance, and achievement of their ultimate goal. I have learned from past experiences that by creating a thorough, yet flexible schedule which is all inclusive, I can help to keep the balance needed to obtain these and future goals. Upon successful completion of these two monumental goals I feel that the next goal should be one of a refining nature. Although I currently teach preschool, which is truly where my heart is, I feel that with the knowledge I will obtain through my education I will need to take a few years to focus on my new found strengths in order to become a more well-rounded teacher. Job location, position, and resources are all obstacles that are sure to arise during my first years as a certified teacher. These are also obstacles that I am sure will plague me for the rest of my educational career. Yet, I feel that with the foundational skills that I will have obtained I will be able to combat any challenges through optimism and continual education. Eventually I would like to return to college to possibly earn my Master’s degree or to perhaps gain more knowledge in a more centralized area such as curriculum or counseling. Again challenges with these goals are sure to arise. By that point in my life I will not only be faced with an ever changing career but also altered dynamics in my personal life. Monetary issues also can, and undoubtedly will, play a factor in any new goals set. By utilizing resources and programs available I feel that no goal or dream will be too far out of reach. One of the greatest lessons I think we as individuals, especially teachers, can learn is that where there is a will, there is a way. Nothing and no one is out of grasp if we are diligent to our cause and maintain will and focus to the end.
Along with the achievement of various goals there are numerous other ways in which we as educators can strengthen our abilities to have a positive impact on our students and colleagues. According to the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) there are ten core INTASC principles that a potential teacher should master and reflect on throughout their undergraduate coursework (Teacher Education Digital Portfolios, 2011). While reviewing these I found that I feel the weakest in my ability to fully understand and adapt to the differences in the way that individual children learn and develop. To be fully effective in a diverse classroom I feel that I need to...