As an undergraduate student, I took a course where I was able to serve as a mentor to underserved students in an elementary classroom. I instantly fell in love with the education profession and working with students in the school setting. I always knew that I wanted to work with children but had intended to enter the medical field. After taking that education studies course, I changed my educational and professional pathway. Working with students, building rapport, guiding them to make new discoveries and connections still brings me great joy. Although the majority of my work now as an instructional coach is with adults, I still find ways to interact with students daily by making my way into classrooms or getting out on the blacktop at recess and lunch.
The biggest learning-from-home challenge I've overcome has been learning how to work remotely and engage in remote learning with my new co-workers (aka my children). I've learned how to be organized and set up systems to keep my 4-year-old entertained and my 7-year-old engaged in his own remote learning. Meal breaks now double as homework help sessions and fort-building sessions. Fortunately, my two mini co-workers play well together and have an early bedtime so I can squeeze in some of my own studying and learning in the evenings.
Jenn Carr and her “mini co-workers,” AJ and Lexi.
My best advice for someone just starting the program would be for them to know that all of their professors are there to support them and help them succeed. Every class Zoom meeting or office hours meeting I attended was well worth it. This program will help you see education through a new lens and will equip you with many tools for pursuing equitable access for all students.
I am multilingual. In addition to English, I am fluent in Mandarin and conversational in Spanish.
I just started researching mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises this past school year (thank you, 2020 and COVID). Whenever I felt overwhelmed with my coursework, I would try a breathing or relaxation exercise from the Breethe app. It really helped me to calm down, refocus my attention and be productive again. It sounds silly and so simple, but it really made a big difference.
I chose the program at CSUSM for its focus on social justice, cultural proficiency and being an equity-driven leader. I wanted to go through a program that would not only prepare me for educational leadership, but one that would prepare me to meet the needs of ALL of the diverse students that I would encounter throughout my career.
For me, getting this degree means extending a positive impact beyond just the students in my classroom. This degree would allow me to support fellow educators in their mission of positively impacting students. This education will provide me with the mindset and skills to replicate things that are going well in education, and equally important, allow me to examine and improve upon things that are not going well. This education and degree will allow me to work collaboratively with others to ensure that each student has equitable access to achieve academic success and allow me to change the trajectory of students' lives.
For more information about the MA in Educational Administration, please visit csusm.edu/el/edadmin.