Saturday, 19 December 2015

Finding my Purpose

I’m very appreciative and grateful for all the professional events that happened this year and to all those who have supported or provided opportunities.
  • Appointed coordinator of a collaborative K-2 team
  • Accepted into the ‘The art of leadership’ course at Harvard
  • Awarded the Wenona Fellowship that afforded me an amazing learning experience to meet some outstanding educators.
  • Presented at two conferences
  • Travelled to the US to learn from innovative educators, schools, universities, Harvard & ISTE
  • Received the Keith Tronc Award at the ACEL conference
  • Accepted an offer from the University of Wollongong for PhD
I visited JFK museum in Boston 

I attempted to thank many at the end of my blogs through my Gratitude Journal but there are so many to whom I am very grateful. Upon completion of my fellowship, I did some soul searching and spent many hours reflecting on my experiences and incredible opportunities. What is my passion? What do I want to achieve? How can I make a difference? This fellowship was instrumental to my future endeavours.

I recently spoke with an academic who asked me why I was interested in a PhD. Her approach to finding my purpose was a little off-putting and not the supportive manner I’d hoped for. But I'm appreciative because it did make me stop and question why I really wanted to conduct educational research. I have read education texts, articles, blogs and attended conferences and regardless of the topic, the most important thing for me is the 'PURPOSE'.
  • the aim, goal or intention of a person
  • the reason why something is done or used 
  • what a person is trying to do, become, etc.
  • the feeling of being determined to achieve something
So what's my purpose? 

This graphic represents 'purpose' and with this wonderful opportunity, I'm conscious of staying focused because I have found I can get easily distracted by being active on social media (Twitter), exploring new apps, reading educational texts, and attending conferences. I know that I'm going to have to lose that Fear Of Missing Out. When I met with my university supervisors, they asked for me to share my story. After listening intently, they asked questions and continually referred back to my comments. They used coaching to clarify my purpose. My purpose is clearer and I know at times I’ll be tempted to venture into other territories, but I will ask myself, 

“Will it support educators and enhance or improve their teaching quality?”


  1. Thanks for the post, Andrea.

    Certainly, your reflections reminded me that there is so much going on in education. Often, there is criticism that we are providing an education that is a "mile wide, inch deep". This, in turns, results in many of us 'trying to cover the width of education without addressing the depth of education'.

    Therefore, your question, "Will it support educators and enhance or improve their teaching quality?" is a good question to clarify and redirect us back to our core purpose. Another question might be, "Is it in the best interests of the students?"

    Onwards and Upwards towards more learning!


  2. Thanks Greg. I really appreciate that you always find the time to provide feedback or a comment. I hope to catch up with you over the holidays. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas. Andrea

  3. Andrea, your post is very thoughtful and reflective considering your interest in a Ph.D program. I found myself going through some of the same questions you asked yourself. I know after meeting you at ISTE, I could see and feel the energy you have for learning and sharing. I decided to take on something small like "transforming teaching and learning." Co-authored one book with Kathleen and now writing another about personalizing learning and focusing on the learner. Social media is how I met you. I found I learn every day something new through all the connections I make and through your connections. My question would be around focusing on changing teacher and learner roles and what that will mean for teaching practice. So I like your second question about the best interests of the students the most.

    Hugs to you and wishing you the best on your learning journey!

    1. I have to disagree with the comment-"Something small" Barbara. I'm so pleased I approached you & Kathleen at ISTE - You definitely get to know & understand the person better face to face. I appreciate all those who contribute to my learning & for this I thank you!