I passed my classes and have completed the required final portfolio in order to earn a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.
However, it feels odd to be done. This feeling of relief and accomplishment reminds me of the joy I have as I lodge my kayak in the sand after an hours-long paddle in the lagoon at Agua Hedionda near my home in Southern California. Once done with my strenuous water adventure, I head to the nearest cozy restaurant where I rest and enjoy a delicious fish and chips dinner with a Coke. In similar fashion, I plan to dive deep into my favorite books and bury myself in planning creative and engaging lessons for my students.
This degree means a lot to me and to others who have graduated from this program. From my beginnings as a D.C. Teaching Fellow with TNTP, I knew I wanted to achieve the goal of a graduate degree in education. I never imagined that it would be from a university of such national prestige, or that it would combine so perfectly with my training from TNTP. How will I live up to the legacy of a graduate program from an institution like Johns Hopkins University?
To ensure that I live up to this degree, I will continue to hold myself accountable to student outcomes. I will not get stuck in my personal beliefs, my habits, or my biases in the classroom. Rather, I will continue to do research, gather data, and use student achievement to directly influence my instructional decisions. I will never forget that I am here to help students be successful in their academic, personal, and professional endeavors. My work must focus on student success. The top three lessons I have learned from my degree are all related to my deeper understanding of the nature of teaching:
This degree is a significant achievement in my goal to be an expert practitioner in the field of education. I hope to share my passion for a student-driven and student-focused teaching and learning experience with my colleagues nationwide. This program is a step in the direction of empowering me to effect change in the field of education as a leader among teachers.