Professional Goals

On my way to an evaluation team meeting today (I want to write more about that...but don't feel I can confidentially...one bad thing about being myself online and not having a blog pseudonym), I had a bit of a heart to heart with my boss (principal).

You might think, "on the way" isn't very long...but picture 100+ outdoor stairs from the school building to the admin building where the meeting was being held...lol.

Anyway, he was asking me how things were going, if I could believe that the year is already almost halfway over, and how time has flown in the 1.5ish years I've been in VA. He also mentioned that I have 30 more years to go before retiring. After that comment, he asked about my professional goals: When you're getting ready to retire, what do you hope to have accomplished/done?

At first, I didn't know how to respond. I'm not much for long-term planning. I'm lucky to know and have decided that I indeed will be staying in VA for at least one more year...to think 30 years down the road and wonder about what I hope to have achieved/accomplished?! That's way out of my comfort zone. Not on the horizon, even. I did answer him, however. I said that I want to get my Master's. The program I want might be closing, so I need to do more research, but I would *love* to do something along the lines of math/science instructional design/curriculum or, like the program I originally wanted, Deaf Education with a focus on math and science instruction.

I guess as a long range goal after that, it would be neat to be a tech facilitator (like @msgregson is studying to become), or a math specialist. I think I would like to be a consult or resource for the elemetary teachers (at least in my current school) with ideas and maybe even push-in math-specific services. There currently is no such position at my school, but I think it would be neat.

Just thought I'd share what my current thoughts are about long-term goals...any thoughts?


  1. i'm a HUUUGE fan of my program! it's fabulous! :) always good to think about the future, but also just as great to be spontaneous!

  2. That would be a pretty tough question for me too. I would hope to have helped to create a generation of people who had confidence in math and did my best to make as many people as possible happier I suppose.

  3. Greetings,
    I'm a Social Studies trained teacher that accepted a job teaching Grade 9's Humanities... and Math in my first year. Years later I was giving Math sessions in my school on professional days. Now I'm a principal and when I think back to those days I would have laughed if you told me this is what I'd be doing 11 years later. Sometimes the side trips in our journeys become our chosen path.

    If I can be so bold as to give advice the first time I comment here, it doesn't matter what masters you choose as long as it is something you really want to do, don't settle.

    Oh, and if you think it's hard to be online as a teacher without a pseudonym, try being a principal! That said, I learned that much of what I've chosen to write, and then NOT post ended up being something I shoud not have talked about publicly anyway. I still choose to be outspoken and tell it the way I see it, but I've learned that the 'should I really post this?' filter is a good one to have.

  4. After your tweet that your ideal program is closing, I've been procrastinating on my morning by looking at your programs. At the risk of being extraordinarly insensitive, can you explain the advantages of a deaf ed program, given that you already have the undergrad degree and expierence? So many of the course of studies seemed focused on teaching signing, translation, and various treatments/understandings of medical conditions, which I'm assuming that you already know. (Though the assumption may be faulty.) Really, I know nothing about deaf ed and you've made me curious.

  5. @Sean: I like your goal. General enough to stick with you if you change position titles. *smile*

    @Dave: Thanks for the comment! It's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one that doesn't know where I'm headed, and that I'm not the only one that sometimes struggles with "filter or no filter" issues.

  6. @Sarah No insensitivity from you! That is a valid question! I love that you procrastinated your morning and researched for me. Thank you!

    My undergrad degree is in Deaf Ed, but I think I mentioned it earlier that we were basically treated as Elem. Ed. majors who signed. Content aside, there are several ways that deaf learners (esp. those using ASL) are different than hearing learners, and there are deaf education "best practices" that I don't feel I got enough training/exposure to as an undergrad. The ideal program was under a skilled professor in the field of teaching math to deaf learners.

    Especially in the field of math, there could be a whole course devoted to "reading aloud" word problems. Basically, how to you sign that problem in ASL without giving away the answer or destroying the context? I'd love to learn more about that. I'd also love to observe other math teachers (general and deaf ed). There's the dilemma. I don't know what to do.

    Thank you for asking! (Sorry the response was so long!)

  7. Dilemma makes more sense now (and thank you for the long response, Twitter was not the medium for this conversation).

    The difficulty of translating word problems is great at illuminating the issues you're facing all the time. I forget that you really are teaching in two different languages, however much they're related to each other. (The hundred page book of learning sign language that I had in fifth grade didn't get into grammar.)

    My current plan for you is to take a sabbatical and do your cross-country observation tour as part of your special major program. Not sure how this if funded. Doing it abroad as a Watson Fellowship would be AWESOME, but you're not eligible, having already graduated from college (and I'm not sure if your's is one of the participating colleges anyway). Huh.

    Anyway, sorry the dream program has disappeared. I hope something reappears in due course.