Professional development is one of those words that can encompass several kinds of things, but one is certain, it’s all about making you better. A better diagnostician, clinician, counselor, record keeper…these are all important for your personal growth as an SLP (or any other educator). We must always be learning new things in a world where the only constant IS change.
What is interesting is that what we all need to be better professionals is different. Why? Because we all have different strengths and weaknesses and we see things from different perspectives. What you learn from a workshop or course you take may not be the same as what I do.
One of the most powerful ways to grow yourself is through self reflection. And it’s funny that I have even come full circle to realize that because, I
hated wasn’t a fan of doing these in school. I remember being required to ‘reflect’ and I thought it was such a meaningless task. I mean, I was there, I know what happened, I don’t need to write it down and think about it. Pfffffft. Sometimes I wish I could go back and talk to young SLP Jenn and shake some sense into her. But I think its incredibly easy to get into a rut, and this method of professional development allows you to re-examine yourself and what you may need to grow.
Self reflection can be many things, but one of my favorites is putting yourself in front of the camera. EEK. I know, it can be a little unsettling but this is seriously one of the very best ways to see what your doing. You can easily set up your smartphone, tablet, or computer to video record you in one of your sessions…it’s super easy with all of the technology we have lying around these days. And then…watch it. I know, even more scary than pressing record. It can be hard to face ourselves sometimes…especially after all the hours we were watched as students by our supervisors, or even now by our administration. But unlike those, you are most likely your biggest critic and will find things about yourself they wouldn’t.
Don’t have video? Record just the audio…you will still learn about yourself. If you absolutely don’t have the technology to be able to do either a video or audio recording of yourself, take 5 minutes after session to write some things down…what went well? What didn’t? What can you do better next time? Keep those notes for yourself.
You will find great things you do and some things to fix. And what happens in those moments? We become better. And I don’t know about you, but that’s a great goal for the new year.In case you need a little
nudge help getting started, I’ve created this freebie Self Reflection page you can download for yourself! Grab it HERE.
What are some of your favorite ways to reflect on your practice?