Friday, June 11, 2010

The Beginning

I am very excited to start the JHU / ISTE leadership program. During the last several years my education has transformed from institutional learning to self directed learning. I think I realized when I was creating my gallery walk video that I used to go to school because that was what was expected. I have changed, during the past couple of years I learned how to learn. I discovered that as a student I don't have to wait for education to come to me. I can choose what I want to learn, when I want to learn, and where I want to learn. So in this new era of choosing to learn I am excited to choose to work with the intelligent and talented people in the JHU cohort.

I know how to run a classroom. I also know that running the school is a completely different beast. What happens in my classroom for the most part happens because I wanted it to, or I let it happen, or because learning is taking place. Students no matter where they come from, generally love to learn. They are in the classroom to learn. They know what to do and how to do it all I have to do is let them. Adults are different. Working with adults can be much more difficult than working with students and that in itself makes being an administrator that much more difficult.

I imagine that during the next year I will learn about the nuts and bolts of how to be and administrator. However, more importantly I imagine I will learn how to be an effective leader, and what it takes to motivate the adults I am working with. As a teacher I spend most of my time trying to convince my students to think for themselves. As an administrator the main focus will be effectively leading my fellow educators.

I look forward to working online. I love the freedom to work mostly when I want. I also love the opportunity to work with a highly motivated individuals who share my interests and passion for learning even though they may live thousands of miles away. I have two reservations: The first is keeping motivated. That shouldn't be difficult when I am working with such high quality individuals. The second reservation I have is finding enough time to get all my work done. I, like so many teachers that I know, tend to try and do too much. I have spent a lot of time with my wife and family emphasizing the need to work without interruption. They have agreed, but we will see.
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Ryan said...


First I loved the video. Thanks for sharing. One thing that struck me in you comments was the nuts and bolts piece. I can only speak from experience when I tell you there are no defined nuts and bolts. You really need to a good STRONG head on your shoulders, always remember you're there for the students, and be mindful that adults often make some interesting decisions.

This program is all about examples, collaboration, networking, and process. With a touch of theory.

Brendan said...

Thanks Ryan,

One of the reasons I went into education is because it is a challenge. I like the idea that every school, every district is different and has different needs.
I suppose by nuts and bolts I meant basic ideas of administrative duties, such as budgets, hierarchies, etc... stuff that has to be done at every school, but not the stuff that can actually define a great school.
The important things I expect to learn are all about effective leading, and building a sense of community.