Educational Leadership EdD graduate in the Faculty of Education
I have been an educator in the public K-12 system and at the post-secondary level at SFU for more than 20 years. I am currently a Vice Principal of a middle school and feel so fortunate to work in such a dynamic profession where fostering caring relationships is at the heart of my work with others.
Why did you choose to come to SFU?
I was working as a Faculty Associate in the Faculty of Education at SFU when I started my doctoral program. Working at SFU was instrumental in connecting me with some incredible mentors who helped me shape my professional identity and made me thirst for more knowledge and more answers. I wanted to delve deeper into this transformative time in my life and am thankful I did.
Tell us about your research and/or program.
My research looks at why the mentoring of female educational leaders with an ethic of care matters. I studied educator and philosopher, Nel Noddings' ethic of care theory and the concept of mentoring. Using autoethnography as my methodology, I conducted a thorough analysis of my personal narratives to better understand the place of mentoring and the ethic of care for females in educational leadership. Clearly, relationships matter and are ontologically basic. Consistently, it is the caring relation that is ethically and morally basic.
What are you particularly enjoying about your studies/research at SFU?
My research has allowed me to work through the greatest joys and the most difficult experiences of my career. I gave myself permission to be vulnerable which led me to be a more confident and caring professional and individual. I love that my research is directly reflected through my work in my chosen field of education. I am indebted to those who supported me during my time at SFU because this has given me numerous opportunities to "see the world" in hopes of being able to lead in such a way that makes a difference.
Describe your program for those searching.
My program pushed my intellectual, emotional, and spiritual (yet not religious) abilities. I met some amazing individuals in my cohort because I was willing to take a chance and further my education! I am also a better educator and person because I allowed myself to be challenged. This is the most difficult endeavour I have ever embarked on with the most amazing and rewarding outcomes I ever could have imagined. (I would love to share my perspectives on my program with others. Giving back is an important part of making sense of my educational journey.)
Do you have any advice for students?
Start with the end in mind and remember this goal when life gets tough, because life will get tough. Set small, attainable goals and work to achieve them. If you feel like you've let yourself down, find another way to achieve your goals. This is the time to be creative in attaining your goals while giving yourself permission to have patience with yourself.
Anything else you would like to share?
Find yourself a mentor, a friend, a good journal or a strong support system because this path is already an insular one. I never dreamed just how rewarding this experience would be and it has been. There has been no looking back; this journey has been so worthwhile!
Contact Kathryn: firstname.lastname@example.org
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