Developing a Professional Development Plan

A professional development plan charts out your short-term and long-range goals. In addition to the identification of goals and a systematic plan for meeting those goals is developed. Consider what you feel are your current challenges-what do you still want to know? These topics become your goals. How will you meet these goals? Will you read, take courses, observe, seek a mentor? You should develop a step-by-step procedure for meeting these goals and for documenting your growth. 


A plan with explicit goals provides structure for your learning. Ask yourself these questions
to clarify your goals and begin planning:

  • What do I want to know or do as a result of these activities?
  • How will I judge the quality of my work?
  • How will these activities impact my personal development and growth?
  • How can I improve my knowledge or strengthen goals?
  • How can I work with others to address my goals?
  • How will I know I have accomplished my goals?
  • How can I embed the professional development strategies I choose into my work?

Decide on activities or strategies that are continuous, on-going and include some type of evaluation. A few strategies or activities you might consider:

  • Get involved in taking classes that will improve your professional and personal credentials.
  • Conduct action research
  • Find a "coach" or be a "coach"
  • Do professional reading
  • keep a log or journal
  • Get involved with a professional organization
  • Learn to use new technology