Chair’s Corner

Donna headshot_bylineSpring is officially here. For many of you, it couldn’t come soon enough. For those of us in Florida, spring is almost over and summer has arrived. If you are an active pilot, you may be thinking about better weather and getting current with the stick-and-rudder skills.

‘Getting current’ is not just something for our students and customers to do, and staying current isn’t just about stick-and-rudder skills. As professional educators, we too should be doing continuing education as well as professional development. Whether your area of expertise is flight, maintenance, air traffic control, airports, airlines, or some other area of aviation, staying up to date and expanding your knowledge is important.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the AIM and FAA handbooks while developing a course on the National Airspace System. It seems like only a few years have passed since I last dug into the AIM and the FAA handbooks. I was surprised how many updates there have been and how much more detail is now in the publications. I misremembered some things that I thought I knew, and other things have changed. It reminds me that staying current never ends.

This happens to all of us and is why professionals participate in continuing education. Just like handling the aircraft, our knowledge gets rusty. So find time to read the changes to the AIM each year. Read the FAA handbooks again when the new editions come out.

Professional development makes you a better educator and may expand your career opportunities. Attend a course to learn a new area of aviation or more about the area you are already involved in. Get a new rating or certificate. Add an endorsement. Start earning you Bachelors, Master’s, or even a PhD Degree with an online aviation degree program. Many universities now offer aviation-related degrees online including Florida Institute of Technology, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Utah Valley University, Parks College or Liberty University.

The Master Instructor LLC Program recognizes the importance of both continuing education and professional development and requires both to earn the Master Instructor designation. So I hope you start today. Make a commitment to participate in continuing education and professional development for the upcoming year.

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