Welcome to Graduate School!

October 28, 2012 at 6:56 am Leave a comment

Two weeks ago, I took a big step in continuing my journey as an educational leader. I began graduate school, working towards a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.  WOW!  By December 2014, I will hopefully be certified as an administrator… the possibility of becoming a building level principal is exciting, yet overwhelming at the same time.  While I’m still not certain that I’ll immediately go in that direction, I want to keep my options open.  What I do know is that I’ve been incredibly fortunate in the opportunities I’ve been given as a teacher, teacher-leader, and instructional coach!  I’m humbled everyday by my teachers; no matter how big or little, how old or young, no matter what color or cultural background, I’m constantly learning new things from those around me!  

Last weekend, as I worked diligently with two partners in my class on our first of two presentations, I learned that I am a “big-picture” thinker, and that I do have patience for inexperienced, as well as experienced people, and I also learned two HUGE lessons about working with other people via emails.  The first lesson taught me that I need to clearly communicate my thoughts, especially when planning through email.  This one kind of caught me by surprise, because I used to type out very detailed thoughts, and then I started learning from some of my coworkers that they don’t really want to read those long emails, so I’ve tried really hard to pick out main ideas and just get to my point.  Well, I learned that when dealing with new people, that don’t know you very well, and that haven’t established a certain level of trust with you, it’s better to be as detailed as possible, clearly communicating what you are thinking! These will ease any anxiety another might have.  The second big lesson I learned, which has been developing recently, is don’t assume others know what you know!  I have a lot of trust in people as professionals, therefore I trust that they are lifelong learners, and continue to build their own capacity. While this still might be true, everyone’s different, and not everyone is at the same level, nor has everyone had the same experiences, therefore it’s important not to assume others know what I know. And I really don’t know much! Needless to say, we rocked our presentation!  

My program is considered intensive. I’m learning new things, while validating some things I’ve learned along my own journey. I’m also making many connections between the theories and concepts of educational administration and what I see in schools I work with. My list of questions continues…

How do you create, maintain, and change school culture?

How do you know in which environment you’ll be most effective?

Which style of leadership is most effective?When?

What are some mistakes new principals have made? 

What are some accomplishments of effective principals?

Will my teacher friends remain my friends when I become a principal?

Who are my mentors?

What traits and characteristics are the most effective from the  8 principals I’ve worked for in my career thus far?

If you have any words of wisdom, please leave a comment. I continue to be open to new ideas, and am excited that I’m finally taking this step. And  I’m forever grateful that I have a very supportive husband in this journey!




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Excellence is an Attitude Change or Growth Opportunity

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Kristen Hahn

October 2012
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