It’s hard to believe that the school year is 20% over already. The past few months have been a whirlwind for me, due primarily to me starting both a new job and a new graduate program at the same time. I’ve debated the wisdom of that decision several times over the course of September, but after a rocky start, things have finally evened out. I feel comfortably settled into both my new job and my new school, and I’m happy to report I’m enjoying both!
The first course in my doctoral program, Experiential Learning, focused primarily on helping students to codify their beliefs about leadership and establish learning goals for the coming year. In one of my papers, I established the following goal:
Goal #2: Reflect on my learning in a transparent manner. I have long felt that honest reflection is one of the most vital components of learning, and I required my students to do it frequently, both verbally and in writing. As a blogger of over four years, I have found great value in writing about my professional practice and considering feedback from my audience […] I hope to gain similar benefits from writing online about my experiences in the doctoral program as I have from writing online about teaching and school psychology.
So what are my reflections upon finishing my first course? They’re much less to do with leadership and more to do with biting off more than I can chew. I figured it would be difficult, but doable, but I seriously underestimated how much all this newness in my life would take out of me. I don’t feel that either my studies or my work suffered as a result of my decision, but my sleep patterns, stress levels, and general well-being certainly did. I had the opportunity to defer starting my studies for a year, and in retrospect that wouldn’t have been the worst idea, but what’s done is done. Moving forward, I need to be much more sensible about balancing my responsibilities. Perhaps that’s not such a bad lesson for a future leader to learn now rather than later.