The organizational development of an athletic director was one of the more personally rewarding and interesting papers that I have had the opportunity to create. This paper allowed me to take an in depth look into the profession and speak to many other athletic directors regarding the major issues of the profession.
My philosophy of sports paper was a look into my own beliefs of sports and how sports serve as a major function of life. This paper was created in the first course that I completed in my Masters program. Most interesting to me now as I reflect upon this paper is how my thinking has changed from the creation of this paper to my thoughts now as I finish the Masters program.
This action research project serves as a model on how I would go about researching a specific problem within a school. This specific action research project takes a look at improving student comprehension by improving note taking strategies.
This leadership capacity article I feel is important because it is a guide to how to be successful as an administrator. This handout breaks down the framework of a school while showing how administrative leadership can trickle down through a staff and ultimately to students.
My Educational Evolution of Thinking As I reflected upon my goals and statements that I had in mind as I applied for admissions for my ongoing professional learning through the MAED program, I realized I had general goals in mind geared towards classroom management and communication that I had previously wanted to focus upon. Before I continued my education at a graduate level, I had in mind that I wanted to be able to mutli task better in my classroom and teaching. I thought if I were able to communicate better, I could teach better which would lead me to have the opportunity to multi task more. Now looking back on my teaching and personal learning, I don't want to multi task whatsoever, rather have a more solid foundation and resources to draw upon for one task at hand instead of the many I tried to tackle previously. My thinking as a teacher has changed dramatically both towards teachers and administrators. Having the ability to understand the role of a school principal has allowed me to see what teachers should strive for in the eyes of an administrator. Having the opportunity to see a school through the perspective of an administrator has given me a wealth of knowledge about what I should be accomplishing as a teacher. In doing so, I have opened up many more doors for professionally developing my teaching skills and continuing my learning as a teacher as well as a teacher leader. In reflection of my previous thoughts and beliefs of my own teaching pre graduate school, I've learned that: " All learning begins when our comfortable ideas become inadequate" John Dewey.
By Chad Paine
Sacrifices in life for the better
In life every individual comes to a crossroads where a decision will speak volumes about who they are as a person and what impact they have on others around them. The crossroads that occurred in my life that changed many aspects of my life and future happened three years ago in the spring of 2010. I had recently wrapped up course work that allowed me to apply and receive my Michigan Professional teaching certificate. The course work included graduate studies for another teaching endorsement that I had recently finished which felt like forever to complete. At the time, I remember thinking that my career was becoming more work than I had ever expected. Reflecting on my education, I had been in school since I was five years old...twenty five plus years of going to school and I still wasn't done. I was also working full time as a teacher and a district athletic director and wondering when I would be able to focus on my career instead of all the continuing education courses I had continuously needed to take since starting my career. I had run into a tough decision to make while thinking about what I was to do next. I knew a Masters degree was in my future but could I continue to juggle the numerous responsibilities I had going on in my life and career? I couldn't help but realize that finishing my Masters degree was my light at the end of the tunnel. As I reflected upon my life in both my personal and professional realms, I knew I would have to make some sort of sacrifice if I planned to continue my education.Working two jobs and raising a young family creates a lot of tension and many conflicts. I recalled and reflected upon another situation where I was coaching football, teaching and doing athletic director work. I remember being torn in three different directions and not feeling satisfied with any of the effort I was able to focus on in any of my positions. It was after this personal reflection that I knew I had to take a step back from something in order to accomplish more in the long run of my life. In 2010, I decided to finish my educational career and focus on completing a Masters degree. I had not yet had the opportunity to focus on my Masters due to the numerous other courses I was required to take and additional minor I added to my teaching certificate. I knew it was time to change my focus and put forth a good effort to finish my graduate school career. Having many other things going on in my personal and professional life, it occurred to me that in order to be able to do all I was doing with some success, it would be in my best interest to have only a few things to focus upon. Deep down I knew I had to give up something in order to focus on my educational endeavors that I was about to enter into. It had become clear to me that the sacrifice I had to make, which took up the majority of my free and spare time, was to step aside from being a district athletic director. After all, I had already endured five years of experience in a position I was about to go back to school to learn more about. Although it was a tough transition, it was necessary for me to focus on the graduate courses I was to embark on and for the athletic program I had previously led, to have the correct focus and effort put forth into it also. As a graduate of Michigan State University, I knew I wanted to continue my education at the school where I had previously graduated. Also, it was important to me that I would be able to take courses around my schedule where I could still fit in my career and family. Michigan State made my decision real easy since they offered an online program that seemed to fit my already busy schedule. The MAED program that I applied to really made me feel good about continuing my education through MSU. The choices that were available to graduate students to focus upon for continuing education and the courses within the program were exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to focus my Masters studies on both school administrative work and athletic administration so the MAED concentrations that were offered fit exactly with my needs. In the end I chose to concentrate my studies on P-12 School and Postsecondary Leadership and Sport Leadership and Coaching. Sport Leadership and Coaching Since a young age, sports have had a very big influence on me. As an athlete, coach and athletic director, I have had the opportunity to learn many life lessons and gain social advantages through playing, coaching and overlooking sports programs. The continued benefits and satisfaction from sports that have been a major part of my life is why I chose to focus my studies on the Sport Leadership and Coaching concentration through the MAED program. Learning more about sports administration has already changed many of my views and will hopefully be beneficial to my athletic leadership even more so in the future. One course in the Sport leadership and Coaching concentration that I was enrolled in really made sense to me and had a significant impact in my learning. That course was taught by Dr. Rick Atkinson and was based upon legal and administrative issues in sports. KIN 854 Legal and Administrative Issues for Administrators and Coaches by Dr. Rick Atkinson Spring 2012 This course was one of a few courses within my graduate program that had a significant impact on my thinking and how my thinking has changed. Numerous case studies were observed within this course and in depth thinking was promoted to see all aspects of each study. As an athletic director, the numerous case studies made much more sense to me because I had experienced numerous scenarios similar to the ones being spoke of within the course. Learning about negligence, liability and facility management was very important to learn about in this class. The issues are still very important to me as a physical education teacher because the scenarios that were taught about liability, negligence and facilities have taught me to always keep my eyes open for potential liabilities within all the facilities I use. I can think of many instances where my lessons and thoughts have changed due to what I learned from this course. I expect that due to the nature of my teaching assignment, I will come across many more scenarios that will also cause me to reflect on the lessons learned from this course. P-12 School and Postsecondary Leadership In addition to my interests in sports and athletic administration, I have always been interested in school leadership and administration as well. Ideally I would like to one day have a position where both aspects are incorporated into one position such as an athletic director/assistant principal. My interest in school leadership was the driving reason why I chose to pursue the other concentration of study that I did. Two courses within the school leadership concentration that I enrolled in were very influential in changing my thinking. The courses allowed me to think like a teacher leader and principal, gave me tools and strategies to be a school leader and ultimately showed me keys to be a better teacher also. Both of these courses were taught by the same instructor, Dr. Nancy Colflesh, who in my opinion is an invaluable resource and a wealth of knowledge. EAD 801 Leadership and Organizational Development by Dr. Nancy Colflesh Spring 2012 EAD 801 was the first course that gave me a serious look into the numerous networks that occur within a school and within a district. Leadership and Organizational Development really broadened my thinking as a teacher and future administrator. This course helped me realize the importance of colleagues as resources and the power of collaboration. In my current district which has a small staff, it is rare to have co teaching or collaborative opportunities. EAD 801 helped me find ways to create team collaboration and develop groups to build powerful relationships and leaders within the school setting. The course also helped me see the values of building relationships with staff, administrators and students to promote a positive culture throughout the school. EAD 824 Leading Teacher Learning by Dr. Nancy Colflesh Fall 2012 Leading Teacher Learning was the most influential course that I was enrolled in throughout my MAED program. Leading teacher learning showed me the ever changing role of the principal as well as discussions of numerous leadership protocols and strategies. Understanding the role of a principal within a school setting changed my thinking. I was able to connect with the concepts of the principals role and use my new found understandings to better my current teaching situation. The Principal as a leader and motivator of teachers while providing guidance was something that has somewhat been foreign to me. Working in a small district for the past seven years has made me realize that I have not had the opportunities to improve my teaching due to the lack of guidance from a true Principal. This fact alone motivated me more to learn as much as possible to be a good principal and motivator. Having the ability to see a school through a principals eyes really opened up my eyes as a teacher. In this course, I was given the tools to be a good principal which, as a teacher, allowed me to accomplish the teaching tasks that principals are constantly looking for. Overall, the entire course allowed my teaching to be much more thorough and meet the criteria that good principals are constantly looking for in teachers. EAD 824 also allowed me to incorporate leadership strategies and protocols into my current teaching practice. The use of Action research Projects, which are problems within a school that are addressed by teachers, assessed, and conclusions created from the data from the Action Research, gave me insight into my own students struggles while allowing me the opportunities to improve my teaching strategies for my students. The protocols, teaching strategies and leadership strategies taught in this course made me feel better prepared as a teacher and ready to open the door of administrative leadership. The course also has prepared me and allowed me to collaborate more with my school administration for the benefit of both staff and students within my district. Conclusion As I prepare to finish my final course and see that May 3rd Graduate degree commencements are now weeks away, I feel much better about the choices and sacrifices I have made to finish my graduate studies. Through all the courses that I have taken in the MAED program, I've realized that my thoughts are constantly changing and evolving. Now that the light of finishing my Masters degree is at the end of the tunnel and so close now, I question myself about what I am going to do next. All of the knowledge I've gained, thoughts of my own that have changed and thought provoking courses I've taken, I feel that the only way to stay on top of my profession is to continue my education!
“The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning.”
My Future as a Learner
As my education has continued throughout the recent years by different courses I have taken and readings I have read, I have felt like I have become better prepared daily, weekly and overall as a teacher. Learning about teaching and understanding the numerous aspects that go into teaching has allowed me to better understand the profession and what my role is within it. Learning about new strategies, methods, protocols and ideas about education has changed my attitude and interests to strive to become better informed and educated as a professional. My future as a learner really came to light in two specific courses throughout my graduate career. Ironically, both courses, EAD 801 and 824 were taught by the same professor, Dr. Nancy Colflesh. In these courses I had the opportunity to learn about professional learning communites, strategies for teacher leaders to use for teacher learning and protocols to use as an administrator to assess both teacher and student learning. The greatest "ah-ha" moment that I had in these courses was to understand what an administrator wants to see in a teacher. Until I looked at the teaching profession from another point of view, I feel my previous thoughts and views were not nearly as transparent as they are now. Applying the strategies and protocols that were introduced from these courses gave me a much greater understanding and insight into my learning, teacher learning, student learning and professional relationships. The greater understanding of educational processes that I have gained have helped me to strive to learn more and want to be on the cutting edge of teacher and administrator learning. Overall, understanding these numerous concepts that I was introduced to has changed my attitude about professional learning for the better. One of the most useful and interesting protocols for continued teacher learning and leadership I had the opportunity to learn about and create in my masters courses was the development of action research projects. I credit Dr. Colflesh for her leadership and guidance in both EAD 801 and EAD 824 to help me understand the role of administrators and the usefulness of continued teacher learning and leadership. Since I previously did not have the opportunity to create a professional learning community or goals within one, the introduction of action research projects in my learning became a major focus for me. So what is action research? Action research is where a teacher or a group of teachers within a professional learning community address a problem within their school. The PLC devises a plan for intervention and creates strategies to improve the specific problem that is being addressed. Action research has allowed me to see the importance of teachers and administrators creating goals to further professional development while creating a better learning environment for students. Although action research projects are just one of the many professional protocols for continued teacher learning, it has been the most important strategy for my school setting. Action research projects have allowed me to personally address issues within my school, sort through student learning data and come up with conclusions for improving them. By implementing action research within my school setting and building a professional learning community, I feel that I have opened the door to much more useful professional learning strategies that I will have the opportunity to implement and receive results from in the future. Chad Paine 2/24/13