I figured before I delved into my journey I should provide some background information.
I'm currently an elementary school teacher at a Title 1 district. I love being in the classroom, but I aspire to be an edtech coordinator/technology specialist. I'm really passionate about education and technology, and my dream job would be supplying urban schools with technology and training educators in using it effectively.
(I come from a low socio-economic background, and this is why I want to work with this population of students.)
My original goal was to be a multimedia journalist. I do enjoy story telling, however, I felt I wasn't making as much of an impact as I wanted to. I wasn't really passionate about my work as a journalist, and felt something was lacking. I don't regret it - I learned some valuable skills - but I really didn't see myself working in that field.
During my undergrad career, I volunteered as a technology instructor at a local high school. I would bring in flipcams and laptops, and would facilitate workshops where students created their own digital stories. This is where something clicked and my journey as an educator began.
I became a teacher through Teach For America. In retrospect, I do wish I had gone through a more traditional route to become a teacher - I would have been better prepared to meet the needs of my students. At the time, however, I had already taken out loans for my BA. I didn't want to go back to school to get into even more debt. I was ready to get out and do something. TFA seemed like a viable option.
So here I am. In my time at this district, I've been pink slipped once and excessed twice. This isn't became of my performance as a teacher, but rather declining enrollment and a poorly managed district. In my three years, I've been at four different schools. It's really exhausting and frustrating, and more than anything - it's terrible for students.
The one thing I've enjoyed is working at my last two schools. They have a 1:1 device program (iPods and iPads) that they were able to implement with some grant money. I've learned a lot about the possibilities of edtech, and it's been pretty awesome trying new things out.
The downside is the poorly managed district. We have this amazing technology at my school but we're limited in how we can use it. Our district is very reluctant to adapt to the changing times. It's hard to get anything serviced or updated. They do not trust teachers with technology, and everything must be done through the IT department. However, the department takes its sweet time and even then, is not always familiar with the technology. It's things like this that makes me want to move on beyond the classroom - I think it's absolutely ridiculous that things like this are happening.
I do have an MA in Urban Education. However, I feel I need to learn more about educational technology in order to accomplish my goals. I know I'm applying to really competitive schools but I figured it's worth a shot. I'm really passionate about multimedia literacy and empowering students with technology.
Undergrad Institution: University of Southern California
Major(s): Broadcast and Digital Journalism
Minor(s): Digital Studies, Interactive Media and the Culture of New Technologies
Overall GPA: 3.43
Master's Institution: Loyola Marymount University
Concentration: Urban Education, Policy and Administration
GRE Scores (revised version): .
First time: V: 155 Q: 151 AW: 4.5
Second time: V: 160 Q: 148 AW: 4.5
Teacher of the Year, 2013
Honors in Multimedia Scholar
Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Elementary school teaching, tutoring/mentoring, experience with technology and 1:1 device programs, volunteering in schools
Special Bonus Points:
First generation low-income minority, TFA alumni (maybe...I know it's not really respected by everyone)
Applied to Where:
The Technology, Innovation, and Education program at Harvard Graduate School of Education
The Learning, Design, and Technology program at Stanford Graduate School of Education
My Application Concerns:
GRE scores, undergrad GPA