Professional Growth Plan & Educational Leadership Philosophy

2018-2019

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”

Warren Bennis

 

      Reflecting on the past 25 years as an educator in both public and private K-12 education I have had many chances to experience different types of leadership. I have had the good fortune of working under excellent leaders as well as with leaders that lack vision and focus. Additionally, moving out of the classroom, and into the role of instructional facilitator, there were more frequent opportunities to interact with school leaders. These perspectives prompted my initial thoughts of being a servant leader, to evolve into being more of a transformational leader. A huge believer in goal setting (both personal and professional) I believe that having a strong vision is paramount to the development of a dynamic and productive organization.

     A transformational leader has a strong vision and is attentive to the needs and motives of the people in the organization (Northouse, 2013). They often see followers accomplish more than they initially expect of themselves. Transformational leaders are “concerned with emotions, values, ethics, standards, and long-term goals” (p.185). Supporting what is right builds trust within the organization that will ultimately benefit the “greater good of the institution, community, and society at large” (Northouse, 2013). I never thought of myself as a leader until I began working as an instructional facilitator last year. Working in this position has given me many more opportunities to be cognizant of how leadership does not just happen when you are standing in front of a room. Whether working to deliver professional development to a group or one-to-one with faculty to improve lessons and talk about what is important to them has shown me how impactful these relationships can be. By listening to what faculty want to accomplish, having a conversation about how they are doing it, and then working together to exceed their original goal is a transformative experience.

      Transformational leadership corresponds with my vision of a school in a new paradigm. This vision includes non-traditional settings, transformational education through the appropriate use of technology, and students understanding and taking ownership of their own learning. This new educational structure will nurture students while building their strengths. Embracing struggles, learning from mistakes, and working collaboratively with peers will empower students to be more active in their own learning.

The educational learning environment (non-traditional classroom spaces, online, and hybrid models) will foster a curiosity for learning, as well as support for risk taking. Students will be as engaged “in school” as they are “out of school.” Transformational educational technology (a dynamic definition to be further refined) is a project-based and authentic learning environment that includes 21st-century skills: collaboration, creativity, critical-thinking, and communication.  With the help and guidance of a clear vision a transformational leader will help to “tap the motives of followers in order to better reach the goals of leaders and followers” (Northouse, 2013., p.186) to guide students to continually develop and engage in their own learning.

     Looking forward to this next year brings the reality of developing revised goals to reach my professional vision.  Completed goals from 2017-2018:  

  • Presented week long technology-infused project-based learning workshop for faculty

  • Supported colleagues throughout the year to incorporate technology into their curriculum to enhance student learning and engagement

  • Worked collaboratively with cohort colleagues on doctoral projects

  • Worked with faculty to incorporate transformative technologies while revising and writing curriculum in different content areas

  • Presented at school-sponsored parents meetings

  • Presented at monthly department meetings

  • Inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education, Spring 2018

  • Volunteered as a CODiE judge for the 'Best Science Curriculum Solution' category

  • Completed CPR and AED Certification, October 2017

  • Website Creation & Support for Vuzumzi School - Universal Promise, South Africa

  • Facilitated middle school students at the inaugural Latinas in STEM Hack-a-thon at Liberty Science Center

  • Facilitated "Projecto STEM" Gamified Orientation game with NJCU students

  • Implemented and facilitated Maker's Day station at LCJSMS

  • Presented at district Technology in-service day - Using Tech Tools to Enhance Math & Science Instruction

Goals 2018-2019:

  • Present at a number of different professional conferences and poster sessions:

    • NJEA conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey (November 7-8, 2018)

    • NJASL, December 4, 2018

    • ISTE conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 23-26, 2019) with NJCU professors and/or colleagues

    • ISTE, June 2019

    • Techspo conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey (January 30-31, 2020

  • Publish original research to a peer-reviewed publication and/or work towards authoring or co-authoring an article

  • Work on "Projecto STEM" Gamified orientation grant (year 3)

  • Work with the “Projecto STEM” curriculum to infuse gamification into the summer 2019 STEM program

  • Develop and implement an E-Textile and coding camp for middle school students (summer 2019)

  • Continue collaboration on the Vusumzi Primary School website supporting teacher professional development and resources for student engagement

  • Collaborate with local professionals and doctoral cohort members to develop and create makerspaces in inner-city schools 

 

References

 

Horn, Michael B., et al. Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. Jossey-Bass, 2017.

 

Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership Theory and Practice (Sixth ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

Jenkins, S., Williams, M., Moyer, J., George, M., & Foster, E. (2016). The Shifting Paradigm of Teaching: Personalized

 

Learning According to Teachers. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from

 

      http://www.knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/u1/teacher-conditions.pdf

 

Sohn, Paul. “Top 10 Warren Bennis Quotes of All-Time.” Top 10 Warren Bennis Quotes of All Time, 4 Aug. 2014,                     

       paulsohn.org/top-10-warren-bennis-quotes-of-all-time/.

 

Spencer, K. (2017, August 13). No Grades, No Failing, No Hurry. New York Times, pp. 1,6.