Statement of Academic and Vocational Objectives by Allison McCutcheon
With over sixteen years of teaching experience under my belt, I am often wondering, “What now?” I still have a great passion for teaching, and I love being in the classroom surrounded by thirtythree eager learners. The answer I have found is to continue my education and becomeeven better at what I do. I have taken many random professional growth classesover the years, but I have never had the time to pursue a Master’s Degree.I had two children in my late twenties, when I was just starting out in teaching. I wanted to be a good mother and devote every spare minute to my kids. I was able to coach them in soccer, participate in Girl Scouts, help them with homework and projects, and provide for a stable and functional home environment. Now that they are both in their teens, I feel I am ready to dedicate myself to my career. When I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, I received a “preliminary” teaching credential. I had to earn thirty extra units in order to “clear” this credential. I was only twenty-one at the time, and not quite ready to jump into teaching. Instead, I went back to school (this time at Chico State) and I focused on Science. I was able to earn enough units that year to obtain my supplementary authorization in Physical Sciences.That choice turned out to be a good one for me. Having that extra authorization on my credential helped me get my first teaching job at a ScienceMagnet school in San Jose.Two years later, I was able to get a job in Pleasanton as a ScienceSpecialist. Right now, I have about fifty units (post BA) and I am ready to earn more. Not only do I want to advance on our salary schedule, I’d like to focus these units on something that will be useful for me, once again. Being a “teacher leader” sounds exciting to me. Whether I am serving on a committee at the district level, or creating somekind of change for my school, I’d love to take part in any kind of change that improves education. Teaching at a community college may be something I’d like to do, later on down the road. I’ve been looking at Master’s programs at various schools for the last couple of years. I know that administrative work is not for me. Someother choicesI was considering were curriculum and technology. Nothing stood out as something I was very excited about doing. Then I heard about Teaching Leadership. I knew that it would be the perfect fit for me. Two days after browsing the St. Mary’s website, I received an email from our school district advertising an informational meeting at the district office in Pleasanton. After meeting Dr. Kathy Perez and learning more about the program, I was sold. I like how classesare on Saturdays and in the summer. I also appreciate being able to challenge the Level One Courses,which means I could very likely finish my Master’s Degreein only a year. One of the biggest reasons for applying to this program is becauseof the reputation of St. Mary’s College. I would be honored to have a Master’s Degreefrom this prestigious university. I believe that I have many experiencesthat make me a good candidate for this program. Over the past sixteen years, I have served in many capacities that bring change into the schools. During my first year of teaching, I was trained in ‘Brain-based Research’ and ‘Multiple Intelligence Theories’, which made
a strong impact on the way I taught at my ScienceMagnet school. I have also served on many district committees including Math, Writing, Reading Strategies, Report Cards, and Technology. I have trained staff on new Language Arts adoption, and I have piloted Math programs. I have also taught after-school classesto colleagueson website creation. I hosted a Family ScienceNight and was in charge of our Science Fair for two years. I am currently participating in an after school at-risk/intervention program at our school and acting as Student Council advisor for the second time. Outside of school, I have been a Girl Scout leader, a recreational soccer coach, a high school soccer coach, and a Booster Rep/Photographer for my sonâ€™s high school wrestling team. As you can see,I have what it takes to be a leader. I have the experience and the passion to becomea change agent in my district. I hope you will consider me for this program.