As a part of my RDG 640 Seminar in Research, I was given the assignment to create a timeline of the events leading up to and culminating with my pursuit of this doctorate. Creating the timeline gave me the opportunity to reflect on my progress thus far and also helped me remember and refocus my end goal. I thought this would be a great post to share with you all, because Habakkuk 2:2 says: " and the Lord answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run with it who reads it. " I will reflect on this goal, update, and edit it as necessary.
In 2013, I was given a letter of non-renewal from my school district. The letter stated that If I did not find a job by the end of the school year, I would not have a job and my contract would be terminated. At this point in my life and my career I was a single parent, had a deceased ex-husband who had suffered from mental illness and truly was never much help. I had been in education for about 15 years but had only obtained a masters degree to receive an extra 1000.00 a year. I was truly doing nothing to make myself marketable. It was at this point that I was forced to make a lateral move in my career (it truly was a blessing in disguise though) I began working and learning at my new job and had vowed to never be in the place again where I would have to take a position in desperation. I pursued a second masters in advanced literacy with a reading specialist certification. I then applied for and received a promotion to become a k-2 instructional specialist.
In 2015, I began work as an instructional specialist. I was responsible for coaching, training and mentoring 8 educators. I learned a lot in this position and began thinking about how I could continue to learn my job better. (this position is not a contracted position which means that if funding for the position ends, so does the job.) I already had the impending mission to keep making myself marketable and noticed that several people that were in higher positions, positions that I would love to be in; had their doctorates. It had become a bucket list "thing to do", before but I'd never felt ready to commit to the workload nor level of work it would take to complete it. My children are going up and completing and/or beginning college, now is the perfect time to commit.
In 2016, I applied for and was accepted into the doctoral program with Texas A&M-Commerce. I am learning and growing with every course. I am applying what I learn to work and life. My residency is teaching me what I need to do to be a thought leader in my field and I am gaining the experience necessary to be a leader in my department and/or move into top positions in other departments within my current school district and (if available) outside of my district. I have even considered becoming a consultant. I have submitted proposals to conferences and spoken at the district, local, and statewide level. I have found that I love doing this and will continue. I have also found that I love working with new and novice educators and would love to do this as an instructor at the graduate level at some point.
My goals are constantly being molded and reshaped as I learn and experience more. Stay tuned to some exciting announcements to come as I pursue them..
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In my last blog post I wrote about the process I went through to submit my manuscript to TALE for their yearbook which is published in October. I wrote and reflected on the process and how I was learning as I was working through the process. I mentioned my first thoughts were that I was just writing a transcript of my presentation and during the review process I began to realize that I was truly writing an article for publication. I was excited about the thought of my first opportunity to be a published author, I got the email this week. It stated:
Thank you for submitting your manuscript entitled, I’ve Completed a Read-Aloud; Now What Can I Do with It?, to the 2017 TALE Yearbook. Educators and literacy professionals reviewed each manuscript in a double-blind process. The numerous manuscripts submitted illustrate the important work being conducted in literacy. Unfortunately, after considering the reviewers’ comments and recommendations, the Editorial Board is not able to include your work in this year’s publication.
I was excited initially because they said that I was accepted pending some revisions. I will admit, I did feel a bit discouraged because of the thought of being published being squashed. I reflected on conversations I had had with different people about the process and the encouragement that I had received when I mentioned it. I kinda felt like I had let some folks down. Things at work are changing and our department is growing, being published was one way (I thought) to help me stand out. I also had to reflect on the fact that I had gone through this process totally wrong. I could not help but think about how I had gone about this writing the wrong way and how difficult it actually was to write this piece in the first place. That is what helped me to feel better about this rejection.
I am a beginning writer, this was my first piece of writing to ever be submitted for a publication, this will not be the last time I try. This publication was looking for research articles and I submitted a presentation article. Basically I wrote for the wrong audience. It is time for me to be getting deeper into research related to my dissertation so, I will try to narrow that topic down and submit again. I will also try to find a platform that will accept what I have written.
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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”.