5 Easy Ways to Grow and Stay Relevant in 2017

ISTE Standards for Educators

Personnel shuffles are winding down after the frenzied end-of-contract summer moves and back to school sales symbolize the final days before another academic year begins.  Many districts welcome new staff members quickly bringing them up to speed hoping to have the “best year yet.” This year, I participated in the personnel shuffle joining the Mason City Schools team. Every district I’ve worked in has provided irreplaceable mentorship and a knowledge base that I couldn’t have realized staying in one place. Exposure to new ideas, leadership styles, differing demographics, and the list can go on and on. For me, having a multi-district experience plays an instrumental role in my growth. Movement isn’t for everyone, but networking is. The first ISTE Standard for Educators (2017) is Learner – actively participating in local and global learning networks exemplifies the importance of learning from others!

ISTE Standard: Learner

Educators continually improve their practice by learning from and with others and exploring proven and promising practices that leverage technology to improve student learning.


  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning

Whether you are staying where you are or moving on to a new pasture, extend your network, knowledge base, and most importantly, grow! Do what fills you up, and those around you benefit.

5 Tips for Ensuring Growth:

  1. Establish short term goals and achieve small wins: You need some small wins to keep going, so set some stretch goals that move you forward. Use Google Keep to track your progress. There’s an endorphin rush that accompanies checking off your list.
  2. Change your routine, particularly if you feel “stuck.” Get up earlier, take a walk, listen to podcasts, or meditate – small disruptions can inspire innovative thinking.
  3. Create a vision board – Vision boards help you visualize your future building on the Law of Attraction to help make your vision a reality. Try the Hay House Vision Board app on your phone.
  4. Partner up!  Find a professional success champion to keep you motivated and for innovative brainstorms. Innovation relies on teamwork!
  5. Participate in a Twitter Chat. These chats allow you to collaborate in real-time with others in your network offering practical insights and innovative ideas.