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Does this question align with your personal/professional development or your organization’s core value of learning? It does for me and my colleagues and it also aligns to our company’s Standard of the Month – Professional/Personal Development – which reminds us as employees to:

Seek self-development…

Actively read books and other resources… and

Never stop seeking to expand [our] skill set or knowledge.

This Standard coincides with our company’s Core Value of Learning: Passionately pursuing making a difference in healthcare [and education] by being a lifelong learner.  In thinking about this month’s Standard, my colleagues and I answered the question, “What are you reading?” by identifying at least one reading source (book, blog, article, eNewsletter, other) and/or one website resource that is our “go to” for self-development/expanding skill set/etc. Our responses follow:

[Program Associate] Reading Sources: The Great Employee Handbook, Hardwiring Excellence, and Who’s Engaged are books that I reference monthly and each time I learn something new. I also receive several eNewsletters such as EdWeek and ToolsForTeachers. Websites: Linda.com, Google, YouTube tutorials, TED.com

[Business Manager] I refer to the Studer Group Employee Handbook and Resource Manual. As I learn new things related to the Finance Department, I find it has many tips to help me learn the new process. This year as part of my personal development plan, I read The Great Employee Handbook, Straight A Leadership, Hardwiring Excellence, and Results that Last. Each of these book I have pages tagged to reference when I find myself “stuck in a rut.” The website that I use most often is the SG Portal for references and the SE blog to keep current with partners and information related to our office.

[Solutions Architect] Websites for me are the go to such as YouTube, Google, and Lynda.com. Recently I have been focused on Moodle for personal development using their forums which are similar to a blog: https://moodle.org/forums/.

[Lead Education Consultant] Articles for Education Week online; reread Covey; often ASCD Brief, Kappan, Educational Leadership.

[Program Director] Special Education Consultants-Law, Policy, and Practice; Studer Education; AASA; eclassroom news.

[Senior Leader] Most recently read Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless (Gitomer) and provided a copy for entire Studer Education team to read.

[Leader Education Research and Development] Subscribe to an SEO newsletter focused on social media, and a few ASCD briefs (education, teaching, leadership, social media); consistently review/read “technology,” “business,” and “education” areas via flipboard app and ScoopIt.

So, why ask this question and then provide you with my colleagues’ responses? Several reasons, two of which are because it (a) provides a great opportunity to connect professional/personal development to the “why,” that is, “why we do what we do,” and (b) reminds us that great employees take responsibility of their own development. Try it with your colleagues or your students – ask them what they are reading – and then share their responses, while at the same time circling back to the “why” and to a broader connection of purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference.

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Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com and follow us on Twitter @StuderEducation. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.