Future as a Learner

Future Aspirations of a Life-Long Learner
By: Melissa Gucker

        As my Master of Arts in Education through Michigan State University comes to a close, it is hard not to look
into the future-my future as a life-long learner. With that said, it is also pivotal to look at how my experiences have
influenced my learning and how I will delve into future learning. Although I can see a wide variety of aspects
happening within my prospective education, there are a few that I will hold true to as the years pass. 

        The first goal that I have set for myself is to continue with my formal education. Striving to get through
my educational Master’s program, I want to first embrace the aspect that I have finished such a feat. However, I
have come to realize that continuation of this education is vital in my role as an educational leader. Initially, I had
planned on becoming certified in administration. I want to keep that promise to myself and continue on the path of
becoming highly qualified within that realm. With this said, I also want to take a few years to develop as an educator
before returning back to such a rigorous program and routine. 

        The next advanced goal deals directly with the happenings of my actual classroom. In the past years I have
been moved from different grade levels. Being moved hasn’t allowed me to develop within a certain grade level,
entertain the idea of curriculum, or expand on an understanding of the developmental levels of my students in depth.
I am hoping to remain in the third grade classroom that I currently reside in, therefore being able to build on prior
knowledge and grow as a teacher and a learner myself. I am looking forward to being able to apply my knowledge
to offer even more instruction and facilitation that is imperative to my students. 

        Although I am entertaining the idea of continual formal education in the future, I also want to seek informal
through all professional development opportunities (offered at the school and beyond). I have always
been an educator who seeks out professional chances to continue my own learning. I want to maintain this positive,
pro-active attitude toward learning. Currently, I reside on a number of teams around the building that yearly are
engaged in professional learning opportunities. I have made a promise to myself that I will remain on these teams,
learning new strategies and techniques in meeting the needs of all struggling students including my own third graders. I have also started to engage in the quest of learning through my colleagues. It has become imperative that sharing ideas, stories, lessons, connections, and discussions will help with my teaching as well as theirs. Meeting as grade levels, deciphering data, and discussing outcomes has and will be a powerful tool that I plan on using to meet the need of all of my students. Keeping this "informal" path of learning in mind will only help in truly becoming a
successful educator. 

        The last and essential goal that I have for myself involves my role as a future and current leader. Seeing that
my focus throughout my Master’s program was that of leadership, I plan to offer myself as a leader to my staff,
school, district, and any other possible opportunities that arise. Starting this already, I have taken on the position of
Data Director Leader. Here I am responsible for collecting, analyzing, deciphering, administering, and offering all
aspects of our school data. With this position I have already taken a step toward offering myself as a future leader.
As positions come forth and opportunities reveal themselves, I will count on my experiences and education to guide
me through what I know a great leader encompasses. Previously, I have shied away from these types of
responsibilities due to my lack of year of service; however, after the completion of my Master’s, I am comfortable
that I will be able to confidently offer my leadership capabilities. 

        With my future life-long learning goals discussed, it is important to reflect upon my experiences with technology through this program and where it will take me on my journey of education. After my Master’s has come to a close, I know that I am more confident in my abilities to use technology beyond a novice point. I still do not consider myself as an expert, however I feel more comfortable with using technology, publishing, and offering ideas for my students. With this newly gained confidence, I want to encourage my students to use technology beyond the surface level. This could include seeking online opportunities for my students (websites, online tutorials, and publishing) and facilitating the use of this technology within my classroom. As our world changes, so will that of our students and these opportunities need to be available for children in order to grow with the changing world and culture. 

        As I embark on my future beyond my Master’s experience, I know that I am set off on the right path. Although
I have had much in regards to learning, teaching, and inquiring I know that I have that much more to gain. From a
very early age I have promised that I would never stop learning about life, this is part of that entire journey. With the
specific learning goals mentioned above, I feel confident that I will be pushing myself to become the best life-long
learner that I possibly can be.