Texas Tech University Off-campus Student Enjoys Educational Journey
April 29, 2009
Dana Green dreams of making an impact on the educational process. In May, when she graduates, she will be one step closer to doing it.
Green's career aspirations culminate on the state level, where she wants to work with the Texas Education Agency and public schools to find better ways to implement the states' curriculum. Realizing that she would need to further her education in order to reach her goals, she turned to the Master of Education in Educational Leadership program offered at Texas Tech University's off-campus site in Highland Lakes (Marble Falls), Texas.
She expected to gain a lot of practical knowledge from the program, but, more importantly, she wanted to broaden her view of the educational process and its effects on students.
"As a teacher, you have one set of lenses," Green said. "I wanted to see through another."
She got into the program at just the right time. May commencement ceremonies will mark the graduation of the 100th student from the off-campus site's Educational Leadership program, and the graduation of one of the most close-knit cohorts the program has ever seen. Green said that being part of the honored group brought a sense of family to its members.
"Of course, we all wondered who the 100th person was, but we decided at our last class meeting that none of us is the 100th person - we are a whole. We, cohort six, are the 100th person and without each of us, we would not be the same group at all," Green said.
She also said that while the students of cohort six were very supportive of each other, her most dedicated group of cheerleaders was her family. Her children, Stephanie, 20; Kaitlyn, 17; and Clayton, 11; have kept up with her progress and were supportive when school work took up time that she would normally spend with them.
"I am married to a wonderful man named Steve; without him and his support, I would never have been able to reach my goal of receiving my master's degree," Green said. "Also, my mom, dad, sister, brother and grandparents have been a cheering squad for me to keep going. They have all shown their support in so many ways."
Earning her master's degree is not the only step that Green has taken in order to learn how to better serve her students. Early in her eleven-year tenure as a first grade teacher, Green felt that she was not a strong teacher of writing, and noted the desire to improve her skills during her teacher evaluation.
Through study, conference attendance and observation of mentors, Green improved her abilities and under her instruction, children produced writing well above their grade level. As a result of her dedication, she was nominated and chosen to attend the Central Texas Writing Project through Texas State University, through which she became a National Writing Consultant.
Currently, Green is teaching third grade language arts and social studies and finishing up work for her master's degree. Although she has looked into new career options, she said that she plans to return as a teacher next year. She also plans to begin work on her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in order to reach her career goal – to work with the Texas legislature in shaping education policies.
"I have enjoyed the journey," Green said of her education with Texas Tech University.