Along with this news I thought I would share my letter of intent for my application process to help explain my starting place of this educational journey. Some more news to go along with my “Choices and Changes” post… I’ve been accepted to start my Masters of Education for September 2016. I’m very excited about this new step in my education career and even though I know it will be a lot of work I can’t wait for all the learning and growth that will come along with it

Education is constantly evolving: from new curricula to shifts in global society there is always rapid transformation taking place. As an educator, there is always something new to learn and new to experience with my students. I love this part of the job and I am continually excited by the opportunities that come my way. At the same time it can be a challenge to try and figure  out new ways of incorporating  elements like technology while maintaining a focus  on meaningful learning and building a strong sense of community in the classroom. In these early years of my career I have found the most energizing part of my job is meaningful collaboration with other teachers. As we move into a new era of education, I feel passionately that we, as educators, need to learn to find strength, creativity, and community in our fellow educators. Over the past four years there have been numerous times where planning, creating, and teaching with my colleagues has served to enhance, not only the quality of my teaching, but my overall experience as an educator.

Personally, I have experienced a number of very meaningful collaborative teaching experiences in my career. For example, in our school district there is a department called “Learning Initiatives” that creates opportunities for educators to gather together in action research projects. This has been one of the  best ways I have found to improve my practice, both from learning with mentor educators and being involved in comprehensive discussions with other teachers. Since my first year of teaching, a colleague and I have written a blog about our teaching experiences. Blogging has led to a larger network of professional connections and collaboration. Finally, last year I was fortunate enough to work on a team of three teachers, all of whom had a similar passion for teaching and collaboration. As a team we were able to create opportunities for both team teaching and collaborative planning. I found that through this process, students became more engaged and enthusiastic about learning.

Due to my positive experience engaging in action research and inquiry with my colleagues, I am very interested in pursuing research related to how teachers can engage in meaningful collaboration within the current school system, particularly at the middle school level. I feel that the Master of Educational Leadership program is a good fit for me because I am passionate about improving my personal practice and finding ways to bring my research and learning to those around me. The cohort model offered by Vancouver Island University will benefit me as collaboration and working with others is an important part of my learning process. Leadership seems to be the best fit for both the study of collaboration and my desire to become an agent of change in our school system.

Professional development is very important to me, and I have been involved in professional development organizations since my undergraduate degree where I spent two years as the Workshop Coordinator for the Education Students’ Association. As Workshop Coordinator I organized six workshops a year and was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of a large conference for new and pre-service teachers. Over the past four years of teaching with the Greater Victoria School District, I have continued to be involved in professional development through my school’s professional development committee and I currently sit on the Pro D Committee for the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association. I think these experiences show my commitment to being a leader in professional development at both school and district level.

In the future, I plan to use my experience as an educator and researcher to become a teacher leader in my district. I intend on continuing to be active  in our professional learning community and will take on leadership roles amongst my colleagues. Through my research I hope to find effective ways to promote and utilize meaningful collaboration in the schools where I teach. My past experience, passion for the job, and desire to learn and share make me an ideal candidate for the Master of Educational Leadership program. I believe that being accepted into and successfully completing this program is  an important and necessary step for me in achieving my teaching goals.

Meaghan