Thursday, October 29, 2015

Teacher Leadership

This week, I wrote a problem statement for my Master's class.  This statement will serve as the first part of what will become a full topic proposal for the action research project that I will do in the Spring--when I complete this project, I will have completed my Master's degree in Teacher Leadership.

No longer a newbie, I will be a Master teacher, at least according to my certification.

This year, I have had the opportunity to start applying what I have been learning in ways that I never could have imagined even a year ago.  I am serving as the chair for the English and Social Studies department, which entails leading the English/Social Studies PLC (Professional Learning Community for those who don't speak teacher-ese), participating in the Research & Development curriculum team (R&D, or "RAD" for short), and helping to orient the new staff members in my PLC.

This has proven busy at times--I've lost count of the number of meetings I have had over the past two weeks--but it has added a dimension to my job that was not there before, a challenging, exciting and above all, fun dimension.  It has given me the opportunity to look beyond my classroom walls to examine CAJ's curriculum as an entire puzzle.  It has given me the opportunity to both facilitate and be a part of rich discussions about scope and sequence, talking through how each class at each grade level fits together in service of our mission.  It has given me the opportunity to think about the future of the school, and to take part in meaningful planning and preparation for the future.

Because of this new role, which has me working with ideas as much as it has me working with my colleagues, I know that my personal education and learning will continue even after my Master's course has wrapped up.  Simply having a certificate saying that I am a Master teacher will not give me license to rest on my laurels.  In fact, the certificate ought to be a reminder that as a teacher, I am a lifelong learner, and that to be a leader within my school community, I must be committed to professional development, and committed to sharing what I learn with those around me.

It's a calling that came at the right time, in the right circumstances--I would not have been able to rise to this challenge two years ago or even last year, nor would I have wanted to.  God has a sense of humor, and He also gives us strength equal to the tasks He calls us to.  I'm perhaps more tired at this time of the year than I was last year, but I also know that I wouldn't trade what I am doing right now for anything in the world.  God is good, and I'm ever-grateful to be here at CAJ, at this time!

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