Commencement ceremonies occurred at GCU this week. At events such as those, graduates are often reminded that commencement means the beginning, not the end. Although graduation marks the conclusion of earning a degree, it also signifies the start of a profession, promotion, or perhaps graduate school. As instructors, we want our students to graduate and then continue to learn and grow in their personal and professional lives. We, too, should continually strive to improve. Participating in various Professional Development opportunities is one way we can do that. As can be seen from this month’s discussion, there are numerous options for us as teachers when it comes to Professional Development. It does take time and effort, but it is worth it because it benefits our students.
During this month’s discussion I became more cognizant of my family’s reliance on the expertise of other professionals. In April, we needed the expertise of a dentist, eye doctor, plumber, and mechanic, just to list a few. We expected all of those people to be trained and skilled experts, and they were. However, none of them will ever get to a point where there is no room for improvement or there is nothing left for them to learn in their respective professions. The same is true for teachers: our students rightly expect us to be experts, and we can be, but even as experts we have ahead of us room for improvement and learning regardless of our degrees or years of experience we have behind us.