Sustaining professional vitality

Professional and working life can be tough sometimes and vitality can become difficult to sustain. And, things can seem even trickier when you don’t quite fit into the dominant mould of your profession or workplace, or if life seems to be at a personal ebb.

The Courage to Teach is a fabulous approach when renewal feels necessary. You can replace “teach” with any professional role. I was introduced to Parker Palmer’s book by the same name in a couple of postgraduate Education courses. It’s one of those fabulous reads that you dip into again and again over time.

Intrator & Kunzman (2006, p. 21) talk about professional renewal as “a concern with authenticity, a negotiation of personal identity and purpose with the work and context of one’s” professional practice. And, they suggest an exploration of the question, “How should I allocate my energy in ways that are consistent with the deepest values that I have about myself as apracticing professional and as “a person?”.

Intrator, SM & Kunzman, R 2006, ‘The person in the profession: renewing teacher vitality through professional development’, The Educational Forum, vol. 71, pp. 16-32.

Palmer, PJ 2007, The courage to teach: exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

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