Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Commencement!

I was going to title this blog entry "A New Beginning," but I like the idea of commencement better. Commencement signifies "congratulations for a course successfully accomplished" and "Cheers! Onward and upward!"

On the edge...

This blog has been dormant over most of the past fourteen months while I undertook an administrative credential course of study, which I will complete... tomorrow! I'm presenting a summary PowerPoint of my Fieldwork Project that was required as part of the course of study in educational leadership.

I undertook this course of study for several reasons: 1) to give myself employment options in the future, 2) to ward off the feeling of hopelessness during the course of union contract negotiations, and 3) to feed my soul as I practice the art of being a life-time learner. I'd have to say: Mission accomplished on all three fronts. (And, I'm glad to be done.)

Of a new beginning...

One thing about enrolling in an accredited program is that you are committing a lot of time and energy to following someone else's lead... for a long time. While I'm careful about choosing who I follow, I still like being my own captain (under God). In a way, I still was, for I have learned to "color creatively inside the lines."

I learned a lot over the fourteen month course of studies which was geared (as required by the State of California) towards preparing educators to become educational leaders in general, and principals of schools in particular. Since I do not anticipate becoming a school principal, the course was a bit of a mismatch; however, the course is also required if I choose to become a Program Specialist or Director of Special Education, or most any other title associated with managing in an educational setting.

Like a child on a slip-and-slide!

The credential is mostly just a nice-to-have to be tucked away for possible future use. I don't intend to make any career changes in terms of job titles, but I've already made changes in being a teacher and staff member.

I've been enjoying watching the NFL this season, and commentators often note which players are team leaders. Leadership is not so much about title as it is about vision, collaboration, and contribution. Quite often, unofficial team leaders have more leeway in their undertakings than those who have the obligation to lead by contract. So, I'm enjoying the latest personal transformation as I quietly, unobtrusively commence the next round of my personal POOGI (Process Of On-Going Improvement).

Recently a student passed along a greeting to me from a former student who had taken a creative problem solving class I taught for several years at the junior high. He said, "Tell Mr. Evans -- CPSr's for life!"

Spring comes... at strange times in California!

CPSr was an acronym I had coined and often repeated in class as a sort of battle cry and focusing point. It's meaning? Creative Problem Solvers for life! That's what I've been about for the last fourteen months, being a CPSr and honing my problem solving skills.

And now? I commence again. Upward and onward! Cheers!