Please describe your current title/position.
For seven years, I was an Elementary Math Coach for Marysville School District. I’ve developed instructional support materials, created and facilitated training opportunities for groups as large as 100 people, worked with teachers to improve their classroom instruction through one-on-one and small group coaching (including studios, demonstration lessons, Japanese lesson study, co-teaching, and observation), and worked collaboratively with principals, district administration, and teachers to better meet the learning needs of staff and students.
My job experience and background are so rich and deep that I’ve been able to work as an independent consultant, designing and facilitating training for elementary schools around Common Core State Standards-Math.
How did your MIL degree prepare you for leadership work?
The MIL program was perfect for me in that I enrolled the same year I became an instructional coach. The knowledge and skill I gained through my studies at UW were really “just in time” learning. I feel that after completing the MIL program, my understanding of the unique challenges that teacher leaders face gave me better perspective of my role at my district and a wide array of tools I could use to maximize my effectiveness.
What were some highlights of your experiences in the MIL program?
I loved the cohort model and find that I still keep in touch with most of my classmates. Not only was it enriching and gratifying to work with others experiencing similar struggles and triumphs in their roles across the Puget Sound, the connections I made with staff in other districts have served me well in creating additional opportunities for experiences that have benefitted the staff and students in my own district (e.g., collaborating on creating instructional support materials, and participating in item writing/review for assessments at the state and federal level).
What was your Capstone Project about? In what ways was it useful to you as an instructional leader?
My capstone examined the relationship between building principals, their staff members, and myself as an instructional coach. Spending so much time gathering data and synthesizing my findings gave me deep insight into the power that building principals wield in their staff’s development, and how I can (and cannot) augment or temper how a principal communicates the purpose of coaching to his/her staff and how the staff in turn responds to coaching.