Professional Development Plan
“What are you doing next year?” Everyone I see asks me this question and it’s one that I’ve asked myself several times. Graduation is quickly approaching and my life outside campus walls will soon begin. Most people would probably see graduation as a chance to get out of school and take a rest from learning, but for me it is just the opposite. I plan to never stop learning outside the classroom. I believe that every day will present new opportunities to learn and I plan on taking full advantage of that. I will soon be able to stand in front of my own classroom and be a part of a school band program, which will allow me to grow and learn as a teacher. I hope to continue my education both in and out of a college classroom. I hope to attend graduate school, continue growing as a person, be involved in the community, and attend to my civic duties.
Unfortunately, a recent back injury has left my future a little uncertain. At the moment, my plan is to return home to Texas and be a substitute until my back heals. Once my back heals, I will again look at jobs in the Midwest, either in Michigan or Illinois, and work to acquire a certificate in one of those states.
During my time back in Texas I hope to further my education by taking some Kinesiology classes at the local community college. I have had two significant injuries resulting from marching and hope to learn better ways to prevent injuries in my future students so they can avoid the injuries I have had. By doing this, I hope to be better able to educate my students how important stretching and proper care of their bodies is during the physically demanding marching season, as well as how to keep themselves physically fit during concert season.
I hope to begin a graduate program within the next five years. Assuming that all goes well with my back, I would like to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Although there are several great programs in both Texas and Michigan, the program at Northwestern is the one I like best. They have a four-semester program that can be specifically set up to take over the summer. This makes it possible to teach during the school year and attend school during the summer for my Masters of Music in Education degree. However, if I choose to take some time off of teaching to complete the degree, I can do that as well. This program seems to be more flexible with their requirements than other programs because it gives me the opportunity to choose most of my classes based on what aspects of music with which I feel I need the most assistance.
Along with graduate school, I would like to become a member of the National Association for Music Education (MENC) and subscribe to their journals and attend their national conventions. I also hope to be a member of either, the Illinois Music Educators Association (IMEA), the Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association (MSBOA), or the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), depending on where I am teaching.
Living in the Midwest these past four years has been wonderful. Growing up in the south, seasons are not something we generally have, at least not like the seasons in the north. Although I am currently planning on moving to Texas, I do hope to return to the Midwest once again. I have loved watching the seasons change and will definitely miss that when I am back in Texas.
Although I hope to call the Midwest home, I do plan to travel. It would be a dream come true to travel to Europe. I would have the opportunity to learn of different cultures and see different sights that I’ve only seen in books. Being able to tour musical monuments in Europe would also be a wonderful reason for traveling overseas. Music began in Europe and I think it would be fascinating to study music from its origin, at its origin.
I feel very lucky that the area I am passionate about is also an area that continues to grow, both in the classroom and in the community. There is always something new to discover about music. A great way to grow in this area is to attend musical events, whether on stage or at the local school. I would like to see more musical theatre productions and attend local band concerts.
I would also like to attend cultural events. The small towns surrounding Austin, Texas, often have festivals during the summer months celebrating their history. These are very exciting and I would have the opportunity to learn more about the culture in those towns. Austin is also known as the Live Music Capital of the world, so attending live musical events would be a great joy.
Although I never plan on holding a public office, I do hope to continue to be a good American citizen. I plan to continue to vote during elections, as well as stay educated in current events that affect my life. I also plan to support our American military in whatever responsibilities they have.
Although my time at Cornell College is coming to an end, my life outside of college is just beginning. I hope to learn something every day and find something challenging in everything I do. Having a degree does not mean that I stop learning. It just means that, for the moment, I stop learning in a college classroom.