About How My Professional Role And Educational Experiences Have Allowed Me Reach My Personal Needs And Professional Goals

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Statement of Purpose

My ultimate goal is to complete a doctoral degree in order to become a transformational leader in education, apply meaningful research to make informed decisions around specific issues that will lead to improved practices within the educational system, and make contributions to facilitate positive organizational change within schools. National University’s Doctoral Program in Organizational Innovation is centered around providing effective leaders with opportunities to envision, innovate, and create solutions to complex problems; furthermore, the program will develop leaders who learn to place efforts into creating systems of support and processes that build inquiry, collaboration, and culture.

Attending the Zoom Informational Session as well as contacting Dr. Teri Marcos to learn more about the model of research to be used for completing the culminating project affirmed my choice to apply for National University’s doctoral program. Participatory Action Research is a collaborative process where participants are not subjects of research, but rather, are active contributors to research who participate in all phases of the research process. Using an approach to research that values the radical transformation of the people, by the people, and for the people is undoubtedly a perfect path for me to follow in order to become an innovative change agent.

As a Coordinator of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes at a TK-8 school, I have experienced successes and challenges when leading change within a school. This change did not happen overnight. This change is still not complete. In 2012, the teachers and staff at H. Clarke Powers School began to evaluate the reasons for its declining enrollment and quickly found a solution. The teaching staff realized that the status quo would not allow them to sustain current levels of enrollment and success, so they chose to begin the process to become an IB World School. And so the transformation began. For teachers and staff, this meant professional development and training, creating unit planners that included all elements of the IB philosophy, and teaching lessons using an inquiry-approach. This self-directed change was often, and continues to be, met with resistance. This is where my quest for becoming a transformational leader started. I found myself asking, How do I create a collaborative culture of growth? How do I re-shape our school’s culture to foster deeper relationships, trust, and engagement? How do I become an uplifting leader who fosters moral purpose? How do I innovate change that is viewed as valuable and impactful? Inquiries and wonderings like these helped to pave the pathway to my future.

In 2017, after attending the Association of California School Administrators’ Principals Academy, I realized that the role of the principal as an instructional leader is only one piece of the puzzle in the search for school improvement. School leaders must raise their sights and focus on becoming transformational leaders. As a result of this realization, a desire for further study was found; I became very interested in learning more about change leadership and began to read works written by Shelley Burgess, Beth Houf, and Michael Fullan. From these readings, I began to better understand the meaning of transformational leadership while strengthening my determination to create positive, innovative change within my own school. According to Fullan, “the principal of the future – the Cultural Change Principal – must be attuned to the big picture, a sophisticated conceptual thinker who transforms the organization through people and teams” (Fullan, 2002).

Effective leaders exhibit enthusiasm and hope for change. More specifically, Fullan characterizes change leaders with the following five essential components: “moral purpose, an understanding of the change process, the ability to improve relationships, knowledge creation and sharing, and coherence making” (Fullan, 2002). I believe my work as an IB Coordinator is one filled with ample opportunity for becoming a change leader who embodies the five characteristics mentioned above. Furthermore, my passion for creating a productive school culture and my strong belief in the benefits of research in education reinforces my decision to pursue my terminal degree in Organizational Innovation at National University.

With great clarity, I observed the layers connecting and overlapping: career, interests, passion, previous educational experiences, and academic excellence were leading to a strong desire for future study. My educational role as an IB Coordinator provided me with opportunities to strengthen my interest and passion toward becoming an effective Cultural Change Leader; the self-discoveries formed from previous educational experiences, specifically during the research proposal project for my Masters Degree directly enhanced my skills and abilities in regards to critical inquiry, creative thinking, and academic excellence. Consequently, the awareness to see the connections between these layers had reinforced my dedication and commitment to completing further research in education.

My current leadership role as an IB Coordinator provides opportunity for intellectual growth and a place to develop and support pedagogical teams. Increasing my knowledge on how to become an effective change leader is my first priority. Daily interactions with teachers warranted a need to deepen my understanding of the change process in order to better support the staff in finding meaning behind an inquiry-based teaching philosophy as well as creating their collective commitment to these new ways. As stated in Lead Like A Pirate, “Get clear about the expectations you have for the change, then carefully consider the systems of support you will need to provide for people as you ask them to do some of their work differently” (Burgess and Houf, p. 107). My mind-set and focus became very purpose driven.

Focal points each day centered around the following: ensuring that the staff had clarity on the purpose for the change, supporting the teachers as they tried new teaching strategies, building capacity in teachers who required extra support when shifting practice, creating a collaborative culture where stepping outside comfort zones was nurtured, and recognizing successes along the way. As stated by Fullan, “Mind-set matters. Every action leaders take sends ripples through their organizations. The messages may be intended or unintended but can either build coherence and commitment or foster tension and frustration. Organizations that support learning, innovation, and action build a culture of growth” (Fullan & Quinn, p. 49). Leaders who value a growth mind-set see potential in others and help them to achieve more than they expected; the result of this is skills are enhanced, relationships improve, confidence is increased, and a collaborative culture begins to thrive.

Over the past five years, I have constructed professional development opportunities to focus on shifting practices, building capacity, and increasing coherence. During each step, I ensured that learning partnerships within grade level teams and amongst the whole staff were developed, a sustained focus on inquiry-based teaching practices was held over multiple sessions, and ample opportunity for inquiry, application, and reflection was embedded into our learning. With great pride, I am able to share that the teaching staff at my school has successfully built a common knowledge base and developed best practices for implementing elements of the IB Framework into the district-adopted curriculum.

Innovative leadership requires critical inquiry and creative thinking. New ideas are best developed in an environment where they are fostered by imagination, inquiry and investigation. As an IB Coordinator and Change Leader, I find myself constantly endorsing continual learning for my colleagues and for myself. It is imperative that I model for and remind teachers of our commitment to fine-tuning the craft of teaching. Increasing knowledge from research, building precision in pedagogical practices, and ensuring access to resources have been key ingredients in my most recent educational successes. Through training, practicing, and advancing the teachers’ knowledge base and skill set, knowledge creation and sharing has been fundamental for effectively leading the IB Programmes. In agreement with Fullan, “The Cultural Change Principal is the lead learner in the school and models lifelong learning by sharing what he or she has read lately, engaging in and encouraging action research, and implementing inquiry groups among the staff” (Fullan, 2002).

Scholars are known for making original connections, sharing unique observations, and for innovative problem-solving. Inquiry often takes scholars down unconventional paths to reach goals. For me personally, I experienced a commitment to scholarship while completing my research proposal project for my Master of Arts Degree. While attending University of Texas, Arlington, I conducted a two-phase, sequential mixed methods study. The purpose of the study was to help educators understand how to build reading motivation in middle school students, as well as gain an understanding of positive methods which create learning environments that maximize participation in reading, writing, and thinking. Upon completion, I discovered that research-based writing provided me with great opportunities for exploring thought-provoking topics and for strengthening my research, writing, and analytical skills. Graduate school presented me the opportunity to contribute to the already-existing knowledge that I had studied in my undergraduate studies.

In conclusion, my professional role and educational experiences have allowed me to discover my passion as well as foster my sense of inquisitiveness. I am a dedicated, active participant in the movement toward educational change. National University offers the kind of empowering research experience that suits my personal needs and professional goals. Learning about the details of this unique doctoral program increased my excitement about the program’s direction and its emphasis on practical application. Ultimately, a collaborative approach to action research will prepare me to become an innovative school leader through self-reflective inquiry to better understand and create transformational change in our classrooms and schools.


Burgess, S., & Houf, B. (2017). Lead like a pirate: Make school amazing for your students and staff. San Diego,
CA: Dave Burgess Consulting.
Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Fullan, M. (2002). The Change Leader. Retrieved February 10, 2019, from
Fullan, M. and Quinn, J. (2016). Coherence. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Publications.

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About How My Professional Role And Educational Experiences Have Allowed Me Reach My Personal Needs And Professional Goals. (2022, Jun 07). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/about-how-my-professional-role-and-educational-experiences-have-allowed-me-reach-my-personal-needs-and-professional-goals/



How do you answer please comment on how your prior education and experiences qualify you for the type of employment you are seeking?
In my prior education, I have taken many classes that have qualified me for the type of employment I am seeking. I have also had many experiences in this field that have qualified me for this type of employment.
How do you answer what support do you need to achieve your goals?
Some people need emotional support to achieve their goals while others need financial support.
How will education help you achieve your goals?
Education will help you achieve your goals by giving you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed. It will also help you develop the ability to think critically and solve problems, which are essential skills for achieving any goal.
What are some of the skills you will need to reach your personal and professional goals?
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