Goal Statement Reflection

Past Reflections of a Future Leader
By: Melissa Gucker

        As I look back at the journey I have taken within my Master’s education, there are many aspects to consider.
With the continuation of my education, I aimed to become a better leader and prepare myself for future opportunities. While I applied in the fall of 2008, I decided to pursue the K-12 and Postsecondary Leadership concentration in hopes to further my knowledge of the vast realm of school leadership. Being able to reflect on my professional goals has allowed me to see how my thinking has evolved and has been implemented. 

        First and foremost, my initial goal in regards to my Master’s education was to continue my love of being a life-
long learner. Not only did I go into the profession of teaching to teach, but I also truly enjoy learning new concepts, theories, practices, and research-based ideals. Looking back, this was the goal I most wanted to achieve through my Master’s program. Throughout the Master of Arts in Education program, I have been able to gain knowledge and further my own learning; however, I have also gained the ability to become completely independent in my working and self driven with assignments, discussions, projects, and community building. Continuing to further my own learning, by taking on the student role has truly developed through this process. 

        Although life-long learning was at the forefront of my professional goals, I also wanted to expand my ability to
become a true leader within any situation I would be positioned in. At the beginning of my course work and teaching, I knew that I had the characteristics to demonstrate great leadership; however I had not taken on many of these roles and established these abilities due to the newness of my teaching and my years of experience. Within the first two years of my teaching, I found myself wanting to take on more roles as a leader, but became overwhelmed with new teacher responsibilities. Taking this drive to the next level and feeling more prepared from core courses, I was able to apply for a head Data Leader position within my school in the fall of 2010. My Master’s experience as well as inquiry/exploration-based learning has allowed for my confidence to widen, thus proving that I am ready to take on more leadership positions. 

        While current leadership positions have allowed for my progress toward becoming a more significant leader,
the prospect of eventually becoming a player in the administrator world is still there. In reflecting on my original goals previous to starting my Master’s, I discussed the aspect of working my way toward administration. As my Master’s is coming to a close, I will still be striving to meet those goals as well. However, this is where my thinking has changed specifically. Initially I discussed moving into a principal position. Throughout my learning about leadership, I have encountered other positions and have now broadened the ideas about what it means to become a true leader within a school system. 

        There is no doubt that Michigan State University’s Master of Arts in Education has furthered my knowledge
about leadership, teaching, and learning. Each course has allowed for a deeper understanding of what it takes to
continue my learning through literacy, leadership, policy, theory, and differentiation. Although countless hours have
gone into my learning through this program, it has only set the tone for future learning and can only add to wealth of knowledge I can hope to gain in my lifetime.