three years have been very challenging ones for me. I have been stretched
to my limit, or so I thought. I have learned so much about not only
technology and how to use it, but myself. I have been challenged
to experience new learning methods and to trust myself in making decisions
about many things. For me, just the thought of going back to college
at my age was enough to give me nightmares, but I needed to learn about
computers and technology: and what better way than to go through
the master's program at Southeastern University. Oh, if I had known
only ten percent of what was in store for me, I probably would not have
entered the program; but I am so glad that I did.It has been the most rewarding
thing I have ever done besides being the most challenging.
I have met many
wonderful teachers through this program, ones that I would never have had
the opportunity to get to know. The professors have been so supportive
and helpful. I know there were
times I bothered them with my questions
and insecurities, but they were all so kind. I know from the start
that they sensed that here was a person not sure of herself and who doubted
her abilities. I imagine that they even questioned why I was in the
program and to tell the truth, sometimes I questioned that myself.
I began my journey
through this program with Dr. Devaney's research class in the fall of 2001.
It was overwhelming at first, but I enjoyed his style. I was secure
with his format and the manner in which the class was structured.
I knew what he expected and could comply with it. I learned about
how to conduct a research project and only wish that I had kept better
notes for future reference.
The spring semester
of 2002, Dr. Bitner introduced me to many software programs that I had
never heard of, much less knew how to use. With is help and guidance,
I learned how to utilize Power Point, Inspiration, Excel, and many more.
Dr. Bitner stressed that technology was not to be used just for the sake
of using technology, but to make teaching more effective. Thanks
to him, I learned to use these programs to make my lessons more effective
I did not attend
college during the summer of 2002 nor the following fall or spring of 2003.
However, in the summer of 2003, I did something that I will never encourage
anyone to do--I enrolled in four technology courses. Needless to
say, it was a very trying summer, but I survived! Not only did I survive,
but I gained so much valuable information about HTML. It drove me
crazy for a while. I even remember going by Dr. Bitner's office,
on the verge of tears saying that I just didn't know if I could make it
through these classes. He took the time to talk to me, encouraging
and assuring me that I could do it--and I did. Dr. Bitner also taught
me how to develop a webquest. As I said earlier, it was a trying
summer. But now I use HTML to correct mistakes in web pages I develop.
I use Netscape Composer to develop pages, but sometimes things happen that
can't be explained--then I use HTML to correct them.
My first introduction
to Dr. Adams was that same summer. She sort of scared me at first,
but soon put me to ease. I was so impressed by the fact that she
shared her life experiences with us as examples. At times I felt
so inadequate, but she never made me feel inferior or that I did not belong
in the class. She was very skilled at giving encouragement and guidance
to motivate you to go the extra mile and give all you have to complete
assignments. Being in her class and listening to her talk made me
feel that I could do anything. The first assignment was to develop
a faculty development plan and a three year technology plan for my school.
Wow, was I anxious! At first it was so overwhelming, I didn't know what
to do. But as I began to work on it, Dr. Adams gave me advice and
suggestions, but never put my work down. Day by day I began to feel
more secure in my ability to complete this program.
Every class was
a new experience for me. Dr. Adams had the gift of inspiring you
to do what you deemed impossible. As I look back at the work I have
accomplished, I am in amazement. The technology plan that I develop
in Dr. Adam's class was actually used as my school's three year technology
plan, with some minor adjustments. It was quite a feeling of accomplishment
to be able to give something of importance to my school. Developing
the school website was a challenge, but I welcomed the opportunity to use
the knowledge and skills that I had learned through the master's program.
Everyone was well pleased with the completed project. Just three
years ago I would not even have considered these accomplishments possible.
As I reflect upon
the past three years, I realize that I should have gone through the program
at a much slower pace. There was so much information and knowledge
to retain and learn. It has truly been a transforming time for me.
I have learned so much about technology and about the responsibilities
of a leader. I never considered myself as a leader, but now I know
that I am a leader. With the knowledge I have gained about the use
of effective technology, I can guide my peers into the technology journey.
I can share with them knowledge about computers and show them by example
how to implement technology in lessons to make them more effective.
I see myself differently
than I did before entering the master's program. I know that I will
be a better educator, leader, friend, and person in the future. I
believe that being around other educators had a great influence on me,
encouraging and motivating me to continue learning. I plan to go
through the National Board Certification process this coming year and in
the following three years, to get my plus 30 hours. Who knows--the
doctorate program may be on the horizon.
One thing that was
imprinted in my mind is the fact that change is inevitable .
This journey through the Master's program has been and will continue to
be one that is ever changing. I would like to thank my professors
and peers for encouraging and motivating me in the greatest paradigm shift
in my life thus far.