Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A reflection journey

In the next series of blog posts I will be reflecting on my experiences as a student in an Educational Technology and Design Masters program.  Since the end of my undergrad and Education program, I knew that I wanted to pursue a Masters, I just wasn’t sure where my passion lay and what I wanted to study.  In my fifth year of teaching, I was fortunate to get an amazing position working in various schools, working with teachers and students to implement technology in teaching and learning.  The position was a challenge, but I was working with an inspired groups of educators and we worked together to explore technology in elementary education.  It was there that I was really inspired to learn more about educational technology. A colleague shared her own experience in the ETAD program, and my journey began.  

I have always considered myself a leader, and while some people in my life might call it bossiness, I am drawn towards being a forward thinker and to inspire people around me.  My choice to pursue my Masters is about learning more about the profession of teaching, and also about gaining knowledge and skills to guide my leadership goals.  I want to have a solid foundation upon which to build my own practice.

After obsessing for weeks about how to frame my learning in the ETAD program, I woke in the middle of the night thinking about a book that I had received a few years ago.  Working in a Catholic school district, our professional practice centers around our faith.  Our district leaders were studying a book at the time, and a principal had passed the book on to me. I realized that the book is a perfect way to reflect on my experience as an ETAD scholar and to explore my leadership style and how I will bring my learning into my future.

The book is called Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23, by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. The book explains the role of the Biblical shepherd as a strong leader and explains how modern day leaders can base leadership style and decisions on the Shepherd lauded by King David in the Bible. This psalm is often used in times of grief as a comfort, but looking at it differently reveals the strength and trust within it. I will follow the style of the book, using verses from the psalm to frame my own thinking. The book is not about educational leadership per se, but fits well with my faith based, ethical whole person vision of a leader.  

Here is the psalm from the King James version of the Bible.

    The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
            He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
            He leadeth me beside the still waters.
            He restoreth my soul:
5         He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.°
            Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
            Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
            Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
10        Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
            Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
            And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

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