An Ever-Evolving Recipe
Begin with one part music educator and add one part information technology. Fold in video editing, communication and writing until ingredients are well combined. Add healthy dashes of curiosity, wonder, creativity and humor. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, allowing the flavors to combine and you've got..
An adult learning professional...naturally!
We all have unique and interesting ingredients that make up who we are personally and professionally. And the way those elements are combined at just the right time and in just the right way, help to make our individual recipes one of a kind.
During my "continual simmering" process, here are a few things I've discovered along the way:
- Sometimes the edges can become a little crispy
I am a person who enjoys on-going challenge and change. After my first semester as an elementary music teacher, I spoke with my principal, requesting that he accommodate all the teachers' requests for a schedule change, regardless of how it impacted my class. What I didn't know at the time is I needed variety to keep me motivated and engaged. This is an important aspect of fulfillment for me today.
- Just because certain ingredients aren't usually combined, doesn't mean they shouldn't be
In the beginning of my learning journey, I tended to gravitate toward personal development opportunities that were directly aligned with the work I was doing. Learning conferences and seminars were the norm, as they provided good information and allowed for valuable interactions with others who did what I did. In recent years, I find myself gravitating more toward development opportunities that I find interesting, though not exactly aligned with my field of work. These experiences allow for a creative intersection of ideas, helping me to look at what I do through a different lens, often sparking Ideas I likely wouldn't have had through interacting with the familiar.
- While too many cooks may spoil a broth, other cooks are still needed
After a period of time in adult learning, I came to the stunning realization that I didn't have to know everything! I didn't have to be the subject matter expert of all things! This revelation empowered me to change my mental model about the way I approached work, transitioning from an individual contributor - responsible for everything - to behaving like a project manager. Now, as I approach my responsibilities, I continue to ask myself if I'm working on the right things. However, I also ask myself if I'm doing the right work on the right things. For me, this is a subtle, yet profound shift that keeps me focused on what is important and what I need to be doing.