By Patricia Montague, CAE, SNA Chief Executive Officer 2017-09-04 23:54:26
Make a Commitment to Lifelong Learning Everything old is new again as another summer winds down and schools begin a new year. No matter how many candles on my last birthday cake, I still associate this time of year with a recommitment to continuing my education and professional development. It probably has something to do with working in an association related to educating our nation’s children. Or the timing of SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC). Or the August dates of the annual meeting of the American Society of Association Executives—my own professional association. Or simply because it’s back-to-school season. Or some combination thereof. Most of us probably thought our studying days had ended upon graduation from high school, college or grad school. The idea of lifelong learning—the ongoing, voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons—was probably the furthest thing from our minds, eager to take our first steps on the career ladder. But somewhere along the way, whether to climb more rapidly up those rungs, or simply to pursue a new hobby or interest, many of us opt to become students once again. The fast pace of change today means that ongoing education is required in most professions, including school nutrition. Professional development remains a core competency and primary strategic goal for SNA. We are offering you more professional development opportunities every year. In SY 2016-17, for example, we set records for the numbers of webinars as well as ANC pre-conference workshops and education sessions. This year, we recorded more than two dozen sessions to offer as part of SNA’s Virtual Expo in early 2018. We are developing self-paced online courses and building a Learning Center hub on SchoolNutrition.org to provide members with various tools and templates on critical knowledge content areas. Even your copy of School Nutrition is a professional development resource! Do you open SNA’s weekly e-newsletter, SN Express, when it arrives in your email inbox? It will help you stay up-to-date on all these and other SNA programs and services available to you as a national member. It sure seems that we are all busier than ever before, with less downtime to focus on ourselves. As the new school year begins, I encourage you to become—or recommit to being—a lifelong learner, setting one or two manageable professional development goals. I’ll do the same!
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
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