Watching students grow is the reason Megan Ketter got into teaching. There is something very powerful about watching a child process and integrate knowledge. For Megan, however, helping children develop is about more than just academics. It’s about pushing them to develop good habits and organizational skills. Her age group is full of hormones and angst, and she strives to be someone they can always speak with and look up to. One of her best moments as a teacher was helping a student with low self-esteem find a creative outlet. “One of my students was having a difficult time not just with school, but with life. She was unhappy and I saw her cry on more than one occasion. I spent time just listening to her and showing her respect, and told her how much I used to enjoy painting. It was truly amazing how painting changed her life; she still brings me paintings to this day, and I’ve kept every one of them.”
This situation and others like it helped Megan realize that there was so much more she could do through her school to help children on a daily basis. A major component of the Educational Leadership program is the Principal Clinical Internship, a course where students research, develop, and lead a project within a school. For her project, Megan created a transition program for students moving from 8th to 9th grade. In the two-month program, students discuss myths about high school, survival skills, justice, sex, drugs, bullying, peer pressure, study skills, and much more. “The format opens doors for communication and creates a comfort level between students, parents, and administration.” What was once a small program is now incredibly well-attended!
Megan got her degree so that she could move into leadership position within her school. Her cohort and the variety of rich perspectives they brought to the table really helped prepare her for anything she would experience at her school. “Because I got to work in a team with other leaders, I learned that as an administrator it’s not always all on your shoulders: it’s about surrounding yourself with good people, leaning on the right people, and giving others a say—it takes a lot of great people to make a great school.” Projects like the transition program have caught her principal’s attention, and she is focused on becoming an assistant principal in the near future. “I am ready and confident because of the knowledge I got from the Educational Leadership program.”