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L.

Walter
EA 743

Reflective Essay with Pre/Post ISLLC Standards Survey

When I began this program I really wasnt sure if I wanted a career in
administration. In fact, most of the way through this program I still was not sure if it was
the direction I wanted to go. Despite my indecision, I embraced the challenge and the
learning. After completing Dr. Maxfields in-class assignment on prominent movements
in education I really felt unlearned. But even after only four short weeks in the
program I knew I was changing. The questions I asked were better, my thinking was
different, my actions were intentional in short I was evolving and people were
noticing. I thought I could be an administrator whatever that meant. Then I began to
figure out how much I really didnt know. So I learned. I read, I studied, I asked
questions, I talked to people, I interviewed people, I asked more questions, and I
thought about thingsa lot. Reflection is a really big part of this program. It was hard
to do at first. We all have our reasons for our beliefs but we rarely have to share them
let alone defend them. I remember Dr. Maxfield asking us what we felt the significant
role of an administrator was. We all thought about it and answer in a round robin style.
I was last to share and after hearing everyone state the accolades of students learning,
student achievement, proper programs and safety for students I felt relatively out of
touch as I answered, supporting teachers doing whatever I could to help them to be
the best they can be so that they can do their work and make a difference. In
reflecting back on that answer today I still think it is a pretty good answer. It is what I
want to do. I know much more now about the political and social side of the job, the
legal issues, budgeting issues and ways to properly infuse professional development
but most importantly I know me better. I am more knowledgeable and confident than
when I began this journey. My administrators and mentors said they knew I was ready
a long time ago but what helped me to turn the corner wasnt all of the classes and
coursework or the 600+ hours of internship. What made it all real for me was when I
actually was entrusted not just to fill in but to be the interim assistant principal.
When I look back at the professional growth plan that we created in our very first
class I am surprised to see that what I held as true then, I still hold as true today. For
example, I stated that completing the Ed.S. degree was a personal goal that would give
me a sense of accomplishment; it has but more importantly confidence self worth
value. I stated that I said I wasnt sure what other doors might open but that I would
keep an open mind. I am keeping an open mind and I am taking some risks now that I
couldnt take two years ago. This experience has taught me that decisions and
judgment calls affecting the lives of students are made daily and are an enormous
responsibility on behalf of an administrator. Adhering to a strong personal and
professional code of ethics builds trust so parents, students, and staff, can rely on
one's ability to make such decisions. Therefore, I still want to be remembered as an
honest, trustworthy person of integrity. Finally, I still want to be,
One who is known to support and do whatever it takes to
help the
staff to promote the success of all students. I want to be
able to facilitate whatever my colleagues need so that they
can do what needs to be done
best for kids. I want to be known as a supporter of
teachers.

ISLLC Reflection:
When I completed the original survey monkey on 10-21-2012, I found that I had
three main areas of weakness. They included:
Standard 3: Management (for obvious reasons) my only experience in
managing a body was my tenure as vice-president of the union.

Standard 6: Political, Social, Economic, and Legal. The political arena
had never been my forte despite my interactions in the union.

Standard 7: Technology. I used to be really good with technology, but
everything changed quickly and dramatically, which left me somewhat out
of touch.

At that time I also believed no areas seemed to be strengths as most standards were at
the developmental stage.
After completion of the recent Survey Monkey (completed 5-23-2014) I found
that I had grown significantly in all areas and particularly in the areas that I felt were
deficit originally.
Standard 7: technology is now my best area.

Standard 3: management is still my lowest area although it is split
between developing and proficient. I believe this is purely due to lack of
experience in operational systems management.

As a result of the program, internship, and especially my time as interim assistant
principal, I am much more prepared, competent and confident in my ability to lead a
school into a promising future. I have evolved into the leader I knew I could be.