I have always wanted to study for a Master qualification. I started the endeavour back in 2012 but never finished the programme due to relocating to the Midlands. Since then, I have undertaken lots of professional learning, but never reapplied for the Masters.
When I talk to people about it, they think I am mad. “A full time Deputy Head in a school that requires improvement, isn’t that enough professional learning for you?” my friends say. Yes, I suppose it is. But I miss grappling with educational concepts at such a level and – dare I say it – I miss writing academic essays.
The more I read about leadership, the more I realise the “the distinction between espoused and enacted values” (Goffee and Jones, 2019, P16) was crucial. My school motto is “Everyone a Learner; Everyone a Leader”. I needed to not just say this, but actively advocate it too.
…above anything else, leading is about being in touch with what you care about and then going for it.
My latest encounter with such writing was completing the two written assignments for the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH). I was again able to engage with and critically evaluate educational research in a way I had not done since my university days. I enjoyed it. I found it gratifying and rewarding as the process served more than one purpose: it met the requirements for my NPQH submission, but could also be applying to my role as DHT at school.
My only reservation: time. I deferred my NPQH submission because of time restraints. Having said that, I had just changed job at the time.
I kept coming back to the idea that whatever I did for my studies could be applied to my role in school. It would serve as excellent professional development but would also assist hugely with our school improvement.
So, I did it. I signed up for a Master Degree in Education via the Open University, to start in October 2020.
The choice of specialisms were broad:
- applied linguistics
- inclusive practice
- leadership and management
- learning and teaching
I toyed with the idea of learning and teaching, but given my role and my career plan, I opted for leadership and management.
This specialism was sub-divided into three 60-credit modules:
- Leadership and management – agency, professional learning and change.
- Leadership and management – exploring strategy.
- MA Ed dissertation – leadership and management.
Who knows? This could be the start of the road to the EdD I aspire to study.
It is my intention to use this platform to capture my learning experiences for those who are interested in the journey.