I started my academic sabbatical this school year and thought I would take some time to reflect on my experience so far…
My overall goal for the year is to collect data for my doctoral research and write the dissertation. I find it really helpful to meet with my supervisor every two weeks for a Skype conference to follow up on short-term goals and discuss progress.
I now understand why former students recommended that it is critical to select a research topic/question that really captures your interest. It would be difficult to continue wrestling with a topic that no longer is of interest to you. Luckily, I am still fascinated with my topic in the area of educational technology and leadership. I am interested in examining the innovative leadership practices or specific actions of principals involved in making real improvements while integrating technology in teaching and learning. I am also interested in exploring how principals utilize social and technological networks to support learning. Unquestionably, the sabbatical has met my expectation to dedicate time to research and writing. However, it is also the unexpected benefits that leave me feeling in awe and thankful each day.
I am thankful for so many things including the beauty that surrounds me. Fall has always been my favourite season. The beauty of the trees and leaves in the fall never cease to amaze me. I am also thankful for taking time to notice the things that have been around me all along and I previously missed. For example, I noticed a group of birds (not sure on the type…) congregated in a large circle on a school field. They looked like they were having an organized meeting and discussing important matters. Later on, my son and I passed by the field again and interestingly they were still in the same formation. Days later, we passed again and they were no longer in a circle but now in smaller groups evenly spaced out throughout the field. We passed by today and they were no longer there. My hope is to continue finding and appreciating the hidden gems this year.