In reflecting on the past year and a half I have to say I am so proud of myself! I have accomplished something that I wasn’t sure I would or even could. A lot has changed in my eight years as an educator. In being willing to try new things I have found my confidence and my voice as a teacher leader.
The Master’s of Digital Learning and Leading(DLL) program has been a wonderful opportunity for growth, leadership development, and reflection.
From the beginning the DLL program, I have been pushed to step out of my comfort zone. When I first began I thought I knew a good bit about educational technology and integration but I was fairly clueless on how to share that knowledge or what my beliefs were regarding education. I had to really think about what I believed as a teacher of both students and adults. This helped ground me throughout my time in this program. The COVA model allowed me to have choice, ownership, and voice through assignments that helped me grow in my job. This was something that was hard for me to accept at the beginning but has probably allowed me to grow the most. Creating an ePortfolio to showcase all of my learning would never have been in my repertoire but being able to create pieces that were relevant to my job gave my ePortfolio a meaningful purpose.
Another area of growth for me was learning to support my goals with research. Not only did I learn a great deal through reading articles about creating teacher engagement when trying to implement new technology, but it helped me creating buy-in with my administration by presenting evidence of what helps ensure a successful implementation.
Resistance to change is natural. Humans, by nature, like to maintain the status quo. If asking them to change, they need to understand the why. This was one of my biggest developments as a leader in my building. I shifted the way that I approached our blended learning implementation by focusing on the why instead of the what. This shift helped when trying to implement my innovation plan. By changing the way I discussed our shift towards a blended learning instructional model, I was able to get in more classrooms to work with teachers. They understood that, while difficult, what we were and are continuing to try and do, is better for students.
I believe I still have room to grow as a leader. Roselinde Torres’ Ted Talk allowed me to see my strengths as a leader but also my weaknesses. I am willing to abandon my past in order to change the future but the diversity of my network is limited and I need to expand in order to get new points of view. For me, a diverse collaborative team is powerful. I learned so much from my colleagues through our discussion posts in the DLL classroom. There were many different perspectives from K-12, upper education, teachers, and administrators. These conversations helped push my thinking as I worked in my building. I need to continue this back at my school and branch out with the members of my Professional Learning Network.
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” -Peter Drucker
I think education is, by nature, a reflective practice. It gives us the ability to see what we’ve done well and what we can still improve upon. One of the most powerful aspects of the DLL program is that we’ve been asked to reflect throughout all of our courses. By making it an integral part of our journey it has allowed me to grow as a learner and a leader even more. One of the biggest changes it has made has been through the Professional Development I offer. I realized that it was ineffective and therefore, I have changed it to more in-depth and am continuing to try and make it better.
I will continue to be reflective in my leadership role. I feel I am prepared and ready to lead any change that may come my way as a confident and secure teacher leader.
COVA Model. (2016, September 29). Retrieved April 02, 2017, from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6615