Upon entering the Educational Technology program and Michigan State University, I had a long-term goal and a few short-term goals for my career. Although these goals have stayed relatively the same, they have evolved due to my ongoing learning experience.
My long-term goal as of two years ago was to become a district coordinator who is responsible for both the creation and implementation of district curriculum. Although I understood this basic job description, I really had no idea what both of those duties entailed nor how to work my way into such a position. Through the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program, I have learned more about developing curriculum that properly incorporates technology - thinking through all the details, pedagogy, and ethics behind doing so. I also have learned a lot about leadership and how to communicate plans effectively and work with various stakeholders in a district. This knowledge has added more definition to my continuing goal of becoming a district coordinator. It has also shown me the skills I can practice and sharpen in my current roles that will set me up for the most success when applying for such a position in the future.
My short term goals as of two years ago involved honing my craft in the classroom and becoming a teacher-leader on my campus. Both these goals remain and have evolved as I find myself in several more leadership roles than when I first entered the MAET program, and I continue improving my classroom skills while coaching others to do the same. Two years ago, I did not feel prepared for leadership roles since I knew there was still so much for me to learn, and I was scared of not knowing all the answers. But now I understand that leadership is not about knowing the answers but knowing how to work with people and the ever-evolving state of education and technology. Therefore, my goal is now to show others how vulnerable I am and that I don’t have it all figured out. I have learned that this helps build a culture where people feel free to try new things and possibly fail, leading to growth and innovation. This also paves the way for others to step-up and build coalitions where they can use their skills and expertise to give our students the best education possible.
There is still so much for me to learn in the field of education and technology, but I will be content each day knowing I have applied my ongoing learning to the best of my ability and leveraged the resources and relationships available to me. Perhaps this attitude and ethic will continue to promote me to higher projects and team management in the future, or perhaps it will simply help me be a better teacher every day I walk into my classroom. Either way, I am grateful for everything I have learned through the MAET program, and I look forward to the new learning opportunities that await me.