This is the first post in a new Teach With INFOhio series we're calling "Your Weekend Playlist for Professional Growth." In this series, you're going to find podcast episodes, videos, and more that you can listen to or watch while relaxing. For some of the playlist items, you might be able to earn a certificate of attendance for professional development. Others may not earn you PD CEUs but they're worth the watch or listen. Either way, you'll be growing professionally—learning more about yourself and getting inspired to bring your "A Game" to the upcoming week.
How Great Leaders Inspire Action—Simon Sinek, TED Talk
Simon Sinek started his career in marketing and communication. He is the author of several books including Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. When you watch this TED Talk, you'll understand why he's also a motivational speaker.
Sinek's powerful TED Talk on finding your "why" is a great way to start this blog series. Your "why" is the reason that what you do matters. It is the sense of purpose you carry with you as you work, raise children, or volunteer in your community. Finding your "why" is essential to doing what you do better, and knowing how to do it. You can watch the video, embedded here, download the video from the link above for offline viewing, or download the audio from the link above to a device for offline listening.
You can read more about INFOhio's "why" in our previous blog post, Two Steps to Stepping Up Student Learning.
You 2.0: Dream Jobs—Hidden Brain Podcast (also listed as You 2.0: How to Build a Better Job)
Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent and the host of the Hidden Brain podcast. In the Hidden Brain podcast, Vedantam interviews scientists and uses elements of storytelling to "help curious people understand the world and themselves." You can subscribe to the podcast using Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Stitcher to automatically receive downloads of each new episode. Use your podcast subscription app of choice to download previous episodes too. If you aren't ready to subscribe to the whole podcast just yet, listen to this episode, embedded below, or download the audio from the link above for offline listening.
This particular episode, Dream Jobs, is an excellent one for anyone who is starting the school year a little less than enthused about their work. And let's just get real honest—in education, this happens to the best of us. Maybe you have a new coworker that doesn't appear to value your work, or maybe you have a "challenging" class this year, or maybe you had some personal problems this summer that have lingered into the start of the school year and you feel like you didn't get a full summer break—whatever the reason, you might not be feeling it this year.
In this episode, Vedantam interviews psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski who has found that the way you think about your job has more to do with your job satisfaction than the actual work you do for your job. In other words, if you believe that the work you do has meaning, you'll enjoy it more. And if you feel like the work you're doing doesn't have a lot of meaning, all hope is not lost! Wrzesniewski discusses a technique she calls "job crafting." Job crafting can include changing the tasks associated with your job, changing the relationships or interactions that are part of the job, or changing the way you think about your work. People who are satisfied with their work and feel like their work has meaning have successfully adjusted the boundaries of their work to make the work feel like a calling. We think you'll find that this podcast episode pairs so well with Simon Sinek's TED Talk—you'll be discovering your professional "why" and crafting your work so that it has meaning.
Building Relationships to Take Technology Integration Deeper—Katie Siemer, Learn With INFOhio Webinar
This webinar was an excellent way to launch the 2017-2018 Learn With INFOhio webinar series, if we do say so ourselves! Katie Siemer began her career working at the university level in adult education while also working with 7th-12th grade students with behavioral issues in an alternative school. She now works with Forward Edge, where she is Director of Curriculum and Technology Integration. She blogs at the Talk Tech With Me website. You can watch the video, embedded here, or find it on the webinar webpage, linked above. You'll need to be connected to the Internet to watch the webinar. Be sure to take the quiz following the webinar so you can earn your free certificate for 1 contact hour.
Building Relationships to Take Technology Integration Deeper is a must-see webinar for anyone who works with educators, whether you are doing tech or not. Yes, it says "Technology Integration" in the title, but Building Relationships to Take Technology Integration Deeper is a nice short title. We thought "How to Be the Kind of Coworker Your Coworkers Want to Be Around So That You Can Partner With Them and Influence Their Work in the Classroom, Thereby Fulfilling Your 'Why' and Making Your Work More Meaningful" was descriptive but too long. The simple techniques Siemer shares, like referring to something your coworker discussed in a previous conversation, are valuable for anyone in a school building, whether you are a paraprofessional in the library, the choir director, the tech coordinator, the curriculum director, or the principal.
BONUS: I'm Right, You're Wrong—Hidden Brain Podcast (also listed as When It Comes To Politics and 'Fake News,' Facts Aren't Enough)
Siemer mentioned this podcast episode in the Building Relationships to Take Technology Integration Deeper webinar so we won't go into detail. We'll just make it easy for you to find it. Listen to this episode, embedded below, or download the audio from the link above for offline listening.