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Becoming an Educational Leader

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Elizabeth Bove

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Becoming an Educational Leader

Getting over that first hurtle was hard, but I decided on the topic of homework. More specifically, how student choice in homework impacts students.

From here, I started to rest easy, I thought the biggest decisions had already been made and were long behind me. I researched, wrote a paper, and went on with my school year.

As I quickly glaze over the topic of this paper I can't help but add that it was one of the most challenging things I have done in my professional career. To top it all off, I received a less than lack-luster result on the rubric... I felt defeated. I KNEW this teacher-leader stuff was NOT for me! Finding a Topic School-wide No Homework Policy The Start How did this experience change me as an educator? I'll admit it, initially, the goal was to get an A in EDU 594 & EDU 595. Instead, I gained so much more!

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't change anything, all of the struggles and worry molded me into this enlightened, educational leader.

I will move forward knowing that I am capable of so much. I've also learned a whole lot about technology that I plan on using with my students. I'm looking forward to creating a classroom blog to communicate with parents and share what is happening in our room just like I have shared my action research in this class! My Journey to becoming an
educational leader: Elizabeth Bove My Research Question What can go wrong. Will go wrong... I'm not sure that words can completely describe how or what exactly has changed. I have talked a lot about the ramifications to my self-esteem and self-image this experience has made.

But it has also made a lot of other changes in me. It has made me re-evaluate how I do things in my classroom. More importantly... WHY I do things in my classroom.

This experience has helped me understand the importance of asking your students and their parents for their opinion. They have a lot of great things to say if you just ask! Furthermore, great teachers LISTEN.

This experience (even the process of making THIS Prezi) has helped me to understand how useful technology is! I love this exploration into the world of blogs, videos, audio recordings, and so many other things I always used to shy away from. Collecting Data My journey began with EDU 594RW. It was a challenging class, but it pushed me to start working towards becoming an educational leader. I can remember this post so clearly. I can remember the pit it created in my stomach, the feeling of worry, what a great analogy for the scary task... jumping off the diving board. This was the first of many obstacles as well as many large payoffs in my journey to gain the trust in myself to accomplish great things! I did not think I had it in me to become a teacher leader. I thought the idea was ridiculous- me, a leader?! I've never seen myself with that hat on. Would I be too bossy, would people listen to me?! What would I say? Do I have something to say? Surely I couldn't be the "educational leader" everyone is talking about transforming me into! At the time, this seemed to be a huge deal, it wasn't until the conclusion of my research that I realized what a small part this played in my journey. I only include it here because I can vividly remember the anguish it put me through. I wish I would have known then that this was the fun part. I will have so many other topics to delve into in my career, but this was my first! Just get in
already you
pansies!* *This does not reflect the actual words or feelings of Dr. Campbell, only my thoughts at this part of my journey. ... and I'll keep rolling with the punches! One week before the implementation of my action research my principal put a no homework policy into place.

This wasn't going to stop me, my research question shifted a little and it became: How does student choice and rewards in homework impact student attitudes? THE BLOG-YIKES I remember thinking... "you want us to do what?!" I was familiar with blogs. I had visited some, both by teachers and other topics of interest. But never did I think I would author one. I couldn't fathom, who would want to write online? I would be OUT THERE. On the WORLD WIDE WEB, for everyone to see!

This of course, was before I started... creating a blog opened up a whole new world for me. A location to discuss, question, vent and gain support and confidence in myself. I LOVED blogging. THIS is where the journey gets exciting! Reading this assignment made that pit in my stomach return. We're Picking Up Speed! Dr. Campbell had suggested that each of us try to get our action research published in an article. I remember the first time she suggested it to our class. It seemed like such an un-realistic thing to say. What are the odds that my work would get published? What are the odds anyone wanted to hear what I had to say?

Luckily, she kept pushing. At this point, I had some time with my blog under my belt and I thought that I might be able to pull off getting my paper published. (With a lot of help on the revision end of it from others).

This is where I started to change my inner dialogue, I started to believe that I might be able to get published. If NOTHING else, I could at least submit it and see what what they have to say! I actually did it! Follow me! This was the easiest part of the process- put on cruise control and coast through the plan.

I had made my way through the twists and turns and I was gaining confidence. It was nice to discuss my research with colleagues and other educators in my class. I found that I had something to say, and it was worth sharing! What do I do now? Help me, help me! Code the Data This was another scary part of the journey. But my experience would not be the same without it.

I was able to question and doubt myself. Which made it possible to believe in myself in the end. I learned to trust my gut and not to waver on my decisions. I gained a lot of confidence and belief in myself at this point. I learned that I had it in me to push myself to see this through to the end. Report the Findings Writing memos and organizing the data in ways to help report my findings wasn't easy.

I was very unsure of myself. I kept thinking "you want to get published don't you?!" I continued to try my best (as I always had). But for the first time, I was able to press forward without seeking encouragement from others. Instead I looked within myself for the words of wisdom to push forward. I KNEW I could do this. Tell People About it The presentations... Presenting to my Fellow Classmates I usually dread presentations. However, I KNEW what I was talking about. I KNEW I could rattle off the details without note cards and I KNEW this was an interesting topic! Before conducting this action research project it was difficult to find informative research on my topic. That fact used to be a worry of mine. Until I realized that it might mean that I had a better chance at getting published since there was a need in the educational world for what I was looking into! This is me in action fielding questions with other teachers in my presentation to my class. Presenting to My School I knew it was just as simple as the first time, but this time did get me nervous. These are the people I work with everyday. I didn't have as much confidence in this presentation as I did with the first one. But I made it through and I got good feedback. I also got the affirmation in my research that I needed as a little push to continue to see my action research to the end! I was able to present to my colleagues and show them all of the fruits of my hard labor over the last two semesters! My Destination How did I know this was an interesting topic?

In addition to finding a bleak amount of research and conflicting opinions, my principal had opinions as well! Remember that challenge from the beginning? This is effecting OUR students and I think it is a hot topic in the world of education. What I Found You didn't think I'd leave you on the edge of your seat did you?! The Major Take-away
It is difficult to REALLY change homework behaviors

Other findings:
Students enjoy autonomy in homework
Positive attitudes related to long-term practicality
Many students believe there is not enough time after school for homework
Students still have negative attitudes towards homework

At this level (third grade) it is not beneficial to have students complete homework. How Does This Impact You? Some of you might think this doesn't apply to you. To that I would answer, YOU ARE SO WRONG! This study has an impact on ALL educators. For starters, it is my informed opinion (due to the findings of this study) that students in 4th grade and younger should not be completing homework.

Furthermore, teachers in higher grade levels should take a hard, long look at the benefits and costs homework offers their students to evaluate for themselves and their students if it is worth it to demand homework be completed. My hope is that this study has created doubt in the minds of teachers about the homework they assign.
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