This week marks the end of my journey in the Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University. I am so grateful for my experience, and it is almost impossible for me to verbalize how much the past 18 months have changed my life. I’ve learned so much, made so many friends, and been completely inspired to become the best educator I can be. Please click the link below to learn more about my journey and my plans for the future.
When I look back to my experience in the DLL program, several things will come to mind. First, COVA. All students deserve to have choice, voice, ownership and authentic learning experiences. My favorite courses in the DLL program were the ones that let me “create my own adventure”. Coming from a type A individual, this is huge. This program has taught me to let go of the pursuit of perfection and take more risks.
Next, CSLE. This refers to creating significant learning environments. It is within these environments where COVA thrives. I want my learners to be the individuals guiding lessons, solving problems, and creating new solutions to challenging problems. I want them to take the lead and not be afraid to try new things because of a fear of failure. I want to be able to guide them along the journey, but not lead the way.
Also, collaboration. In teaching, it is so easy to become an island. The daily whirlwind can keep one’s focus confined to the happenings within the four walls of a classroom. However, true growth is a collaborative effort. It stems from the sharing of ideas, the formation of plans, and creating supports to ensure success. Collaboration is what helps big dreams to be realized.
Finally, I will think about leadership and innovation. This course has taught me that true leadership comes from a strong understanding of the “why”, or the reason a change in necessary. I know that if I can inspire other around me by helping them to connect to the “why”, they are more likely to pursue change themselves. I’ve learned that innovation doesn’t have to stem from grandiose ideas; rather, it can stem from simple changes that yield big results. True innovators can see the problem and craft solutions to help facilitate change.
This experience has truly changed my life. I’m so thankful to my professors, especially Dr. H. and Dr. TNT, for inspiring us to do the things we thought we couldn’t. I’m so grateful for the friends that I’ve made throughout this program and they support they’ve given me at every turn. We are definitely not the same people that entered this program 18 months ago, and I know that we will never go back.
For future DLL members who may be reading this, jump in with both feet. Don’t look back, but rather look forward. During this program, you will be stressed, uncomfortable, frustrated, and even want to throw in the towel. Don’t. It’s going to make you grow in ways you never thought possible. When you look back at your coursework and all you’ve accomplished, you will realize it was completely worth it. Lean on your peers and don’t be afraid to share your true thoughts and feelings. Oh, and definitely go to the online classes. They help you to truly connect with your professor and your peers.
I leave this program knowing that I am a person with a Growth Mindset. I know that I’m going to pursue my crazy dreams, fall down along the way, pick myself up, and not quit until I reach my goal. I know that I’m going to be searching for new ways to use my knowledge to help my district and my learners, and I will strive to be a leader in all I do. Finally, I leave knowing that I’ve found a community of my “people”: passionate, caring, creative individuals who do not simply talk about wanting to see change in education; they make it happen.