Professional Development Planning
Whether you're new to the field or very experienced, the process of planning for your own professional development is extremely important. Professional development is a roadmap to your future. It's about your career preparation and options. Learning truly is a lifelong process. As human beings, we are always learning and growing. As your professional interests and the demands of the field change, it is important to expand your skills and knowledge.
But how can you figure out what professional development you need or how to get started? The Registry has created, "Growing Futures: A Step by Step Guide to Creating Your Individual Professional Development Plan." This plan, coupled with North Dakota's Core Competencies for Early Education and Care Practitioners, can help you prepare and carry out a personal Professional Development Plan to reach your goals.
What Is a Professional Development Plan (PDP)?
Watch a PowerPoint overview of the professional development process.
A PDP is a written document that outlines your goals and the steps you'll take to reach those goals. Professional development planning is about creating a roadmap to your future as an Early Childhood professional. You need to know where you're going to reach destinations that are meaningful to you. A PDP guides you as you grow your knowledge, skills and expertise for working with children and their families so that you can reach your career destinations. With a PDP, you determine your areas of interest and strength, as well as areas where further growth and development may be needed.
What Will My PDP Look Like?
When you know where you're going, you can make better choices about how to get there. Your investment of time and money in professional development will be most effective when you know what you want and need to learn.
The PDP plan you create will be as unique as you are—it's about your goals, your career, and your future. Because each person comes to early childhood environments with a unique combination of professional skills and expertise, experience and education, no single plan will work for everyone, nor will any two plans look the same. For this reason, it is important that your PDP be created on your own based on your own interests and needs.
Getting Started on your Professional Development Plan
You may work in a program that has already implemented some form of goal-setting or professional planning, or this may be your first attempt to outline your professional goals. Either way, there is no better time than now to start planning and growing your future. The opportunities for a rewarding career in early care and education have never been greater. In fact, the field is projected to be one of the top career opportunities in the next ten years. You can have it all: helping children reach their full potential while also advancing your own skills, knowledge, and career options. So what are you waiting for? The future is yours to grow!