TL Standard 8
SPU’s MEd program in Teacher Leadership has helped me grow not only in my building as an educator but a future leader as well. I had a hard time trying to decide what area I wanted to focus on. There were so many degrees that would benefit myself as an educator and further support my students in my classroom. Once I heard that SPU was offering a masters in Teacher Leadership, I knew I had found the correct program. I feel the learning that had the greatest impact for me was the work that required me to pick myself apart as an individual as well as an educator. You are not able to strengthen your practice and improve your craft if you are not self-aware. Aware of what you do well, biases you make have and areas in which you need improvement. Within the time we spent learning about what makes us tick, we had critical conversations around important issues surrounding schools. One of my biggest takeaways was how to have critical conversations with not only your coworkers, but parents and students too. Another piece of learning that I feel made a great impact on me was revolved around engaging families and communities within my building. “Rather than asking, Why are some families so hard to reach?” we should instead ask, “What am I doing that makes my school and/or classroom hard to reach?” This was a statement that I know my entire cohort took to heart and had a large discussion about. It truly changed the way I began to look at my building. It changed my entire perspective of what I had control over and how I could better our school and classroom environment to be more welcoming and reachable.
I am still very interested in learning more about leadership in any potential upcoming professional development opportunities at the district level or at SPU. I think my entire staff in my building could benefit from having a few of the speakers I was fortunate enough to listen to during a few Saturday workshops come and speak. Having an entire staff listen to such an impactful speaker really helps get everyone on the same page and using the same great language in a building to promote positive change! I also feel that it would be great to keep this cohort connected and collaborating over the next few years in regards to how we are implementing our new learning in our buildings. Starting a book club for those who are interested to further/continue our learning in one of the several components we found that was impactful would be a great way to continue professional learning too.
In the near future, I see myself being a teacher leader within my building. I know I want to continue implementing all of the things I learned for best practice with my students. I also want to continue to push myself in the areas that were harder for me to adapt and implement like technology. It is easy to fall back into what I see now as bad practice and honestly a disservice to my students. Continuing to learn about how technology can be used with such young children is definitely something I see myself continuing to look into to make sure I hold myself accountable to continue to implement and explore new options with my students! I also see myself continuing to lead some staff development classes and potentially taking on a few more roles within my building. I think it might also be fun to teach a professional development class that is offered for district employees. This program has helped prepare me to take more advanced leadership roles than I have experienced in the past. Possibly a few years from now, I hope to take my new learning and be able to help lead other new teachers in a positive direction within their first few years teaching as a mentor. I would love to be able to pass on the knowledge and skill sets that I gained from this program to teachers who are just starting their journey into the classroom!
The time that I spend in the classroom teaching, I would also like to do my best to reach out to other buildings and learning communities to expand our collaboration to a much larger region. Being able to see, share and collaborate with educators from other learning communities or even districts can expand your access to different resources, ideas and possibilities for your classroom! I would absolutely love to have the time to go observe other teachers in other buildings, learning communities, as well as districts at least once a year, to get fresh ideas and share resources to help improve teaching across the board! I look forward to use the past two years to help me grow as an educator, teacher leader and potentially a future new teacher mentor!