I have reached a milestone in my career and in my life. I have finished all my coursework and have taken and passed my comprehensive exams. “So, now what?” Well, I’m glad you asked. I am now a doctoral candidate, which means I have entered into the phase where I get to hone my skills as a researcher and a writer. I am working on my actual dissertation. “How long does that take?” Thanks, that’s another good question. That depends, to some extent on the college and to a larger extent me, myself, and I.
There are 5 chapters in a dissertation — depending on which college you go to. I will have to work on chapters one – three which introduce my topic, layout the research around my topic and state the methods I want to use to conduct research. I have to propose those to my committee (which I have not chosen yet) before I can do my study- another milestone. Then, I conduct my study and write chapters four and five which discuss the findings and conclusions. This is the final milestone. At this point I defend all 5 chapters and that same committee will tell me it is finished or it needs more work.
This whole process so far has been exhausting, exciting, excruciating, and engaging allllll at the same time. I have learned and am learning so much about myself. I am a self-diagnosed introvert and peopling is a task that at times is very daunting. In previous blog posts I have already stated how far out of my comfort zone I am in my new role as a Literacy Coach. I meet and hold conversations with new people almost every day. It is interesting how so many things in my life just work together.
I am learning to work independently and interdependently. It is a balancing act to say the least. I am fortunate to have a lot of highly skilled, super intelligent people around me at Region 10 Education Service Center. I will admit I don’t always think about and reach out to my “work village”. I am working on that and will do a much better job in the future. I have had an “if you ask for help, they may think you can’t do the job” mentality without even realizing it. Now, I am not saying that I need help, but what I am saying is that I have such a valuable resource in my “work village” that I forget to work with them because I am in autopilot. I have learned that I need to “people with a purpose” (that’s my term, but you can use it).
I have to mention my study group, which is another awesome group of super intellect women who have taught me a lot about myself. If it were not for them, I may not have done any prep for comps at all (and I truly mean that). These women encouraged me, shared their knowledge with me and prayed with me and for me as we prepared for this phase of our studies. I learned that a group that gets together for one cause can be powerful. We have created a new life long bond. They have also helped me learn that peopling is okay.
I have not updated this blog for a few months because so much has been going on. Now that I am back and am in a new phase of this journey, I think it’s time to change my focus. Since I am in the writing phase of my studies and I originally started this blog to write. This will be the last blog post that is titled #doctoralpursuit. Starting in November, I will focus on all things literacy. My new blog will be titled Literacy Pearls. It is my intent to share information that I gain from all the literacy research I will be reading for the next year.
Thank you for reading,
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”.