Who I Want To Be: Educator. Leader. Learner. Innovator. Reflecting on my 15 years in education, I am astounded by how much has changed in schools...and how much has stayed the same. We now have technologies that have dramatically altered the way we work in the world we live in, whether it be robots, 3D printers, video-conferencing, etc. We see these things in schools, but have schools really moved with the tides? Or, in many cases, have we bought shiny tools and hoped for the best?
I have been a classroom teacher, a teacher coach, and a leader, and during these experiences, I’ve realized how important it is for schools to have strong leadership with clear and motivating vision. I constantly work to be the type of leader who can inspire others, whether it be in words or actions, or simply by modeling what a life-long learner really does. My goal in my career is to work towards transformational change in schools, leveraging the use of technology to inspire students and teachers to do something different. In the future, I see myself impacting students in higher education, as they study to enter the workforce of education.
In addition to continuing to sharpen my leadership skills, one of my goals as an educator in the world of technology is to remain well-rounded. This means exploring areas that are outside of that may be out of my comfort zone as a learner, including computer science. In order for leaders to build trust, they should exhibit vulnerability (Lencioni, 2002). So, even though it is not currently in my wheelhouse, I truly believe that taking a more active role with computer science will enable me to be a better teacher and learner by honing in on the skills of logical thinking and true collaboration.
Educational Leadership Philosophy One of my favorite parts of my job is planning and implementing professional development sessions for teachers. I spend a lot of time planning for these sessions, making sure to make it fun and relevant for everyone in attendance. I thrive in helping others reach their own capacities and empowering them to realize their potential, which is a characteristic of servant leadership. Servant leadership dictates that leaders help serve the greater good of the organization (Northouse, 2013). I believe that when leaders work with empowered teachers in a school, we can develop a culture where true innovation can happen.
George Couros (2015) developed an innovator’s mantra, which reads in part as, “I model the learning and leadership I seek in others. I take risks, try new things to develop, and explore new opportunities. I ask others to take risks in their learning, and I openly model that I’m willing to do the same.”
What’s Next? I have accomplished so much in the past two year, including the critical components of networking with others in the educational world. A new goal I have for next year is to continue to network and get more name recognition through publication. I hope to get published with a journal article.
Implementation Timeline 2018-2019 ✔Successfully complete Summer I, Fall 2018, and Spring 2019 semesters in the NJCU Educational Technology Leadership doctoral program with a 4.0 GPA ✔Seek out and network with individuals in higher education for adjunct opportunities ✔Continue in my role as Trustee of New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative (NJECC) ✔Present at conferences, including NJECC 2019 Annual Conference ✔Conduct at least 5 professional development sessions for teachers relating to successful integration of technology in class ✔Renew my Google Certified Trainer certification (annually) ✔Facilitate and manage a Computer Science grant, including managing all materials and teacher professional development
2019-2020 ✔Successfully complete Summer II, Fall 2019, and Spring 2020 semesters in the NJCU Educational Technology Leadership doctoral program with a 4.0 GPA ✔Re-run for position of Trustee with NJECC (3 year term) ✔Renew my Google Certified Trainer certification (annually) ✔Continue to conduct professional development sessions for teachers relating to successful integration of technology ✔Seek out and network with individuals in higher education for adjunct opportunities ✔Present at multiple conferences, including NJECC Annual Conference 2020 ✔Facilitate and manage a Computer Science grant, including managing all materials and teacher professional development ✔Lead and facilitate staff through remote learning environments by providing relevant professional learning opportunities 2020-2021
Successfully complete Summer III, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters in the NJCU Educational Technology Leadership doctoral program with a 4.0 GPA
Complete and defend my dissertation
Graduate with Doctorate in Educational Technology Leadership from NJCU
Present at multiple conferences, including NJECC Annual Conference
Write a journal article for publication with EdTech Magazine or other comparable publication
Network with individuals in higher education for adjunct opportunities
Maintain my role as a Trustee of NJECC
Renew my Google Certified Trainer certification (annually)
Complete the Google Certified Educator Level 1 & 2 certification
Couros, G. (2015). The innovator’s mindset: Empower learning, unleash talent, and lead a culture of creativity. San Diego, CA: Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc.
Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership: theory and practice (6th edition.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.