I am in a time of transition. For 21 years I have been a teacher – this includes teaching young ones in the classroom or on the soccer field, and old”ish” ones in staff meetings and professional development workshops. For 21 years I have been earning a wage doing what I love best – teaching! This summer my family made a BIG move (across the country kind of big) and this past fall I did not have a school to call my work family.
Instead, I decided to become the student. For four years I have been chipping away at my Master of Educational Leadership degree. A course here, a course there…when can I squeeze it into the school year to preserve my sanity and the well being of my family? It turns out that the big move actually allowed me to become a full-time student. I now sit on the other side of the desk. The featured image for this post reflects where I am every day: learning with peers who are situated around the world from professors who live across the International Date Line! Picture me Skyping classmates in the middle of the night trying to hide the fact that I am wearing jammies! Stop – don’t picture that, ha!
Yes, I am almost done my degree. Just another two weeks and I will enjoy a rather large celebratory cake with my family! But this blog is not about that. I have learned a great deal sitting on the other side. I have a new appreciation for feedback, rubrics, success criteria and exemplars. All of these things had become common place for me as a administrator; just more edu-speak. Not so today. They have power! They can leverage learning! John Hattie was right!
I also have a new appreciation for the skills that I have acquired over the years: perseverance, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking to name a few. As a student I needed to draw on both the front and back, left and right quadrants of my brain and do so in an efficient manner while meeting deadlines. Kids have it tough! We expect a lot! Phew, our students are amazing!
I am thankful for this time of transition. I am thankful that I have had a chance to reflect, pause, and wonder at the joy of learning. While I will be happy to once again “earn my keep” I wouldn’t trade this time of growth as my new perspective has shed new light on some old understandings. The other side of the desk became a place of true professional development.