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Practicum, APA, and the Principal Exam

Throughout my completion of the practicum and course activities, I have learned a lot about scholarly writing, action research reports, and leadership skills. With still 8 months left of my practicum, I’m glad I decided to organize and color code the chosen activities to complete. I have done well to keep track of my practicum activities via an excel sheet where I record my progress, action to be taken, the date of completion, and the number of hours it took me to complete.

In addition to the practicum requirements, I am reading and writing often and a lot. I learned that my high school and college career taught me a lot about scholarly writing. I was fully prepared entering these master degree courses to properly write a research paper, find scholarly articles and use APA citations.

In the last two months, I made a greater effort to look at all aspects and my preparedness for the LCE. The LCE web conferences were helpful in preparing me for the exam. The practice exam was also helpful, however I felt like the LCE was quite different from the practice tests. There were some questions that were very specific to TEA requirements that I had never actually reviewed before. This helps guide me in more specific area to study before I take the 068 exam in May.

Throughout the entirety of my practicum thus far, I believe the greatest learning that occurred in regards to leadership skills occurred during observations of and interactions with my campus mentor. My campus mentor has provided many experiences to me that I greatly appreciate. She has given me real scenarios and asked me to brain storm the actions that a principal should take. She has guided me through incidents that have occurred in our school. She has taught me how to respond and interact with parents and other community members in a variety of settings. The practicum forced me to participate in activities that I otherwise would not have. I learned all about the difficulties of scheduling students and creating a master schedule. I also learned a lot about the opinions of my colleagues. The action research report really required me to get to know the people I work with and their concerns they have for our campus and district. I believe this experience has given me the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with my peers and supervisors.

The other opportunity that I appreciated was the interaction as a mentor to two new teachers. I learned a lot about myself as a leader and I learned how to properly communicate with my peers in regards to successes and areas in need of growth in their classrooms. My desire has always been to teach teachers, and this experience solidified that. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in their classrooms and observing engaged students and passionate teachers. The teachers are clearly experts in their content areas and are eager to learn skills to increase their classroom management. I learned to only give one suggestion for change during each post-observation conference. I saw the teachers eagerly implement a variety of my suggestions and explain their success with students as a result. I hope to always work in a capacity that I am helping teacher become better teachers.

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