As an instructional specialist, I work with teachers daily. I synthesize what I am learning in coursework to use in daily practice, I continually think of my research topic and how I can make my work and course work meld together. I want to tell the story of educators while being educated myself. I choose to research teacher practices when they are teaching vocabulary because of the demographic of students I work with. I am interested in vocabulary instruction because as a classroom teacher even my best students struggled with vocabulary. I honestly believe that what I see the "highly-effective" educators do quite effortlessly when they teach vocabulary can help every teacher. As a result, I am always watching what the highly effective teacher does.
So, I become teacher-researcher-coach as I work with my teachers. I am observed a few “highly Effective educators. I have trained my teachers on research-based best practices in vocabulary instruction and given them a few suggestions on how to incorporate vocabulary instruction in their school day. I presented them with this question: What would happen if you were intentional with your vocabulary instruction? Since that training, they have answered that question with things like:
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I have not spoken to you this year. Happy New Year to you, lol I have had a lot going on this year and since the last time I updated you. This has been the longest break I have taken since I began this blog in June of 2016. I feel bad about it, but life kinda "got in the way" of my timeline for a bit. Classes got more rigorous as I am getting near the end of my course work. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a long, long, long tunnel, but I see it. I am in two course this semester and have two more to complete which puts me on target to finish summer II which is July. By the end of my coursework, I will have a working draft of chapters 1, 2, & 3 of my dissertation. Then on to comprehensive exams and defending those chapters. Once the "powers that be" (my graduate advisor and a team of professionals from the graduate school) say yes, it's on to my actual research. I then write chapters 4 and 5 and move to where I defend everything (final defense). and finally to the goal, the title Dr. (Ed.D). I am excited and overwhelmed all at the same time- if that is even possible. My goal (which is just that) is completion December 2020.
I have grown and am growing, living, and making connections that will help me with future success. I still feel the inner nudging of the need to make a move and spread my wings career-wise, but have not found that open door, yet. Still I trudge on. I am open and ready once the door is open and am also seeking opportunities for the growth of my leadership skills. I am setting myself up to be the literacy leader I am supposed to be. My words for the next 5 years are "Clear Vision".
Stay tuned for an announcement in the near future.
I am in love with being an adjunct professor. It is fulfilling and rewarding but is also extra which takes a bit more of my time than just being an instructional specialists and doc student. It is not something I am willing to give up. It is pivotal to my future success. I tell people when they ask me: "If I could quit my job and do this full time, I would." As long as I am afforded the opportunity to do this work, I will. I look forward to future opportunities to come from working with pre-service teachers.
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Pearl Garden, Ed.D has completed her dissertation research involving understanding the vocabulary instruction practices of early grade teachers. She has a passion for the new and novice educator, and it is her goal to help educators tackle the achievement gap with her research findings. She will use this blog to share what she has learned in “pearls of literacy”. The ideas come from her dissertation titled “A Content Analysis of the Vocabulary Instruction Habits by Early Grade Teachers”.