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The Graduate Degree Essay

I am pursuing a graduate degree in Education Leadership in order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to advance my teaching career, in the area of special education, to a leadership role. I need to build upon my knowledge about special education laws and regulations, as well as develop the skills necessary to make informative decisions about issues that touch every aspect of a school’s special education program. In order to positively impact future generations of students with learning disabilities, it will be important for me to ensure the implementation of resources for a safe, efficient and effective learning environment. The Education Leadership Program will provide me the opportunity to enhance the quality and effectiveness of curriculum design and instructional presentation, in order to improve the performance of students receiving special education services.

I have found that one of several factors in overall student achievement is the implementation of an effective curriculum. As a special education administrator, it is my responsibility to ensure that students are able to access the general education curriculum and are given the opportunity to express what they know in a variety of ways. Upon completion of my graduate degree, I will be in a better position to protect the integrity of a school wide collaborative teaching model that aligned with the common core standards and can be accessed by all students. I would like to utilize my knowledge and resources beyond the classroom, as well as prepare myself to become a primary advocate for students who need support accessing the general education curriculum.

Not only is the development of an effective curriculum an important aspect to improving the quality of student performance, but how the curriculum is presented is equally important. It is important for teachers to structure learning environments that address a variety of learning styles, interests, and abilities found within a classroom. The latest research to improve academic student performance continues to support an inclusion model, or a collaborative model. However, I have not seen an effective inclusion model in any of the schools I have worked in. Administrators are often unable to articulate what is expected of teachers or how to develop and implement more effective systems to support teachers. Obtaining a graduate degree will allow me the opportunity to be more directly involved with the delivery and implementation of a collaborative teaching approach which will ultimately maximize student achievement.

Pursuing my graduate degree will provide me with the skills necessary to deal with crucial issues around growing special education needs. In order for all children to obtain quality educational services, as an administrator, it is imperative for me to acquire a solid knowledge base in special education and competence. My goal is to work toward becoming an integral part of the decision making process as it relates to special educational programs in order to enhance and improve student performance. I am ready to move away from my comfort zone as a teacher, into a leadership role. Completion of my degree will provide me with the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of young people.


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