Monday, February 23, 2015

am i wasting time and money?

I purposefully didn't capitalize that, you Grammar Nazis. This is a general rambling and hardly warrants all the nuances of your typical blog write-up.

I started Grad School in January. I did this because I feel like if I am ever going to continue to grow professionally, then I could use some official credentials to back up my experience. I graduated from college later in life than most. I wasn't sure if I would ever find a job in a public school that would suit my pretty conservative but progressive ideals.

Sidebar: I am politically conservative in a moderate way, but very progressive when it comes to the methods we use to mold our young minds. Out-of-the-box and flipped-upside-down are the methods I like to use. Confused? Utterly!

Ok, back to it. In the program I am making a valiant effort to "get it" but I simply do not. My goal has never been to be a typical principal of a typical school. When I graduated the ed program, it looked like I had invested in being an expensive #stayathomeschooling mom. This is because I began my career in that typical public school and I knew I wanted to do more and be more than what I was able. I found Epic (or they found me :-)) and we were a perfect match. Within three years I was in a leadership role and within four years I had made my way into the role of Director of Teacher Support. I get some say, and sometimes they go with it! It's what every fresh idealistic wants. Except this experience revealed some of my strengths. Strengths that have no letters behind my name to identify them and it's these strengths I feel I should be fine-tuning. I went into the Ed Leadership program because I am told that I am a natural leader. Most of what we talk about is becoming a principal. But they gotta teach to the majority, however, and that is the biggest reason I do not like typical B&M.

I should throw in another sidebar here: There ARE teachers out there doing amazing out of the box flipped upside down teaching. My Twitter feed is FILLED with them. I see the lessons they are doing and it makes me think that maybe I would love teaching in that environment. My Sunday night #OklaEd tweeps are the main culprits I speak of here.

Back to it. I know that in this MA.ED program,  there is no way to teach to my individual skill set or direction. I also know that I will still be receiving a great knowledge base and will be armed with tools for the future. They just won't be the tools that I need. But shoot, how many teachers feel like that education degree prepared you for the real world? MA.ED.=same boat.
When it comes down to it, I have already met some pretty fantastic people here. One of them being Rob Miller of Jenks Middle School. I was able to shadow Mr. Miller for a few hours one Friday a few weeks back. This guy gave me hope. He has some pretty neat things going on behind those doors. One of my favorite take-aways was "High Five Friday" There is an administrator at every entrance as well as a couple of students from a selected club of the week; this week was the Student Council. Every single person that walked through the door was greeted with a smile and a high five. They were middle schoolers, so you could tell that their preconceived notion of this "being lame" was outweighed by the smile that came across their face the moment of high hand contact. They enjoyed it.

SO, what to do? Obviously, I am in this for the long haul. I want the degree. But I want to train teachers and write curriculum and be apart of the best practices and be the State Superintendent someday...ok, maybe not that last one. In my current role that works great because that is what I do!!! But in my current role I do not need the paper or letters after my name. So I am back at the original question. Am I wasting my time and money?

Remember - I welcome, encourage, WANT comments. That is what makes me better. In other words you have my permission to tell me what you think.


  1. Here is the deal - think long term, not present term - so although where you are right now may not seem helpful, this will (hopefully) lead to future classes and give you the tools you are seeking :-)

  2. Thank you Scott. I do appreciate your feedback.

  3. Education of any kind is never a waste of time or money. The unique experiences that we gain from our education give us perspective that perhaps other teachers may not have. For instance, the JD behind my name represents a lot of time, tears, frustration, and money. However, that experience also makes me the super cool American government professor that I am today.😜 My law degree allows me a different perspective then many professors may have because most do not have law school experience. My understanding of constitutional law, due to my law school experience, allows me to expand on the teaching is in the book. Although I do not use my law degree to practice law, and perhaps I could have taken an easier path to get to where I am today, I did learn things that I use in my classroom on a daily basis. You will learn things from other students and from your professors that will shape your thinking, your teaching style, and your cirriculum. Never stop the formal process of learning!

    The MS behind my name represents many nights of cheese fries at Joe's!