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When I was an educator, I would find myself getting caught up in the commotion of the school year and lose sight of my passion for learning, the thing that drove me to the profession in the first place. As we get back to school, and conferences and Professional Development opportunities start opening again, it is important to know how to prioritize our limited time.  

Working for Learning.com, I am constantly thinking about how we can make educators’ jobs more manageable and more enjoyable. With so much on teachers’ plates as we get back into the school year, the last thing we want to do is overload them with more information. To help, here are a few tips to use when you are getting ready to attend a professional development course or conference. 

First, have a growth mindset. As hard as the last few years have been, it’s been more important than ever for teachers to have a growth mindset and instill that in their students. While finding time in our busy schedules for professional development isn’t always a top priority, attending the right session can sometimes be just what we need to get over our next hurdle. Psychologist Carol Dweck, who coined the term “growth mindset,” said “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” Check out her TED Talk on fostering growth mindsets, here 

Second, find a session or conference that targets a specific concern. With conference season back in full swing, the options can be overwhelming. It is helpful to focus on one thing you’re struggling with, and just start there. For example, if it has been challenging to incorporate digital literacy skills into your classroom, maybe a conference that targets that specific concern would be most beneficial to you. If you are interested in learning more about the solutions we offer at Learning.com, or how to get the most out of your school’s license, you can sign up for our free Users’ Conference on October, 18th 2022. 

And lastly, know that ongoing, incremental changes are the ones most likely to stick. As with any change, starting small and continually evaluating as you implement, ensures the new tools or techniques are working for your classroom.  

Breanna Blanton, MBA, is Learning.com’s Associate Product Marketing Manager. She was previously a student teacher in a 2nd grade classroom and a substitute teacher for Elementary students in Washington public schools.