Professional Development Workshops… Full of Hidden Gems
By Brenda Dawe
There are multiple benefits to be gained from attending professional development workshops. The obvious ones are:
· Fulfilling certification requirements... for interpreters, this means 20-25 hours annually.
· Networking... keeping in touch with old colleagues and making new connections.
· Meeting presenters...some you may want to later engage for your own workshops.
But the number ONE reason should always be to learn something new, innovative, and useful. Even for veterans in the field, no workshop should be considered "below my level of expertise." Consider these benefits:
· The presenters, generally experts on their topics, bring a different perspective to rules or concepts you may/may not know and use in your role as interpreter,
· New or forgotten vocabulary often pops up; and, shown in a different slant, might cause you to take note and add them to your tool bag.
· The instant peer feedback received during your practice in breakout groups reduces the chance of you making the same signing mistakes on future jobs.
Whatever your motive is for attending professional development workshops, participating with the right heart-set and an open mind will bring you benefits that will enable you to become a more skilled interpreter... that is the one goal we all should have for professional growth and what we owe to all stakeholders we serve.
Consider this: the next time a flyer or announcement comes your way register, attend, and take away with you as many of the gems offered as you can… and don’t forget to say, “Thank you for your time and hard work. (For most, that’s the only payment they get.)