As anyone that has read my blog knows, I am in the first couple months of my first year as an assistant principal. My job is challenging, which was a big reason I applied for it in the first place. I am constantly put in to situations where I don’t have answers and need to learn something new. I am also heading out to a large number of PD sessions, or getting involved in division initiatives where I get the chance to learn even more. My introduction to blogging and twitter has opened my eyes to even more. It is a great feeling, sometimes overwhelming, but always exciting, to be learning all the time.
The next step in my progression as an educator I feel is to start to investigate programs for my Master’s degree. I look forward to entering a Master’s program and having the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in an area that will have a major impact on my career. On the flip side, the process of selecting a program intimidates me. I feel like I get one chance to do this, if kids and a house are in my wife’s and my future, and I don’t want to make the wrong choice.
I believe that I need to decide a number of things that affect my choice, and prioritize them to help with my decision.
1) I Have To Love It – I have the opportunity to dive into an area of study and immerse myself into the community that focuses on that area. If I am going to do that, I have to love it. I am going to dedicate myself to this endeavor and I want to be excited about every paper, every project, every lecture and every discussion.
2) I Want Doors To Open – I want my Master’s program to open doors, not close them. I want the possibility of pursuing a Ph. D to be there when I have completed the program. I want the process to open more career doors, not pigeonhole me into an area that one day I might want to move on from.
3) I Want To Be Able To Apply What I Learn – I want to take what I learn from my program and apply it in a practical way almost immediately. I want to gain skills that I feel confident utilizing and that can help me assist teachers and/or students. I would like it if the skills were ones I could pass on to other in some capacity as well.
4) I Want The Program To Help Me Towards My Goal – My dream is to one day educate future or current teachers, be it as a consultant, PD speaker, or professor. Meeting Alec Couros recently made that dream a little daunting, but I still want to pursue it. I want this program to help me provide teachers with skills or strategies to utilize in their every day teaching.
So, why am I blogging about this? Well I realize a large number of people I have connected with on twitter and through my blog have already completed their Master’s and many have completed Ph. Ds. I am looking for advice and maybe some critique on my method of program selection. I am looking for stories of how others selected their programs, I am hoping to hear about how interesting and exciting your program was, and I am looking to hear about how your program changed your career and your life. So I guess what I should say is that this blog post was written for some pretty selfish reasons. I hope some of you out there can offer me some comments, and thanks in advance.