Wednesday, September 30, 2015

To Ed.D or Not to Ed.D? That is thy question...

During my 21 year career in public education, there seems to be a recent increase in the number of peers striving for their doctoral degrees.  I've always been an advocate for higher (and lifelong) education.
I've met a lot of people in my day with the Ed.D after their title, but none like my mentor at Carlmont High School who truly put into practice the training, techniques, and methodologies learned in his Ed.D. program from the University of LaVerne.  His leadership was transformational; collaboration and staff morale was at an all-time high.  Students bought into the programs we were running.  Decisions were made based on site goals, not on the whim.  The leadership and guidance he modeled were inspirational.

Thinking back to the work I did for my Masters in Education from San Francisco State University, I am proud to say that much of what I learned was put to practice.  I think the challenge we have when pursuing higher degrees, certifications, or just advancing our education and expertise, is bringing it back to our department, school, and/or district, and attempting to change culture for the better.  Each district and school has its own culture.  Many leaders have vision while others have insecurities.  My mentor (mentioned above) was the most secure leader.  We worked cooperatively, not competitively, and that made all of the difference.

So, back to the title of my blog post.  To Ed.D or not to Ed.D?  Is it a financial decision?  Yes.  It is a life-changing decision?  Yes.  Will it make a difference?  If the person pursuing it is doing this for the right reason.  As public educators, we have the unique opportunity and ability to positively shape the lives of our peers and more importantly, our students.

There's a fork in that road ahead.... where does each subsequent road lead?  Focus, determination, planning, and persistence = SUCCESS.  Bring it on.

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