Defense of Degree

Master of Education in Educational Leadership

Jynine Danielle Caldwell

  • Graduate student in the Master of Educational Leadership program at Dallas Baptist University
  • Third grade English/Language Arts Teacher at Whitt Fine Arts Academy in Grand Prairie ISD
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My purpose

My purpose is to magnify the glory of God that is within me, by inspiring hope, fostering a life-long love of learning, and engaging the imaginations of every student I teach.

Purposeful relationships in my life

I count my wonderful parents, family, and boyfriend as my greatest blessings. They are my truest treasures, and they each serve a unique, but significant purpose in my life.

The Purpose of Education

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My Purposeful Philosophy of Education

  • Positive classroom culture
  • Providing engaging learning activities
  • High expectations of students
  • Relational capacity with students
  • Establishment of positive relationships
  • Accountability
  • Goal setting
  • Student-centered instructional focus
  • Teaching and learning
  • Personal growth
  • Making learning fun

The purpose of Title I campuses

The purpose of Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 :Improving Basic Programs
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My purposeful placement

God purposely placed me to teach at a Title I campus

My campus, Whitt Fine Arts Academy, is a Title I campus that serves a diverse community of students with various socioeconomic statuses. However, this past year, despite our high number of disadvantaged students, we received 4 out of 6 distinctions from TEA. This major accomplishment can only be attributed to positive campus culture, outstanding leadership, and a commitment from the entire school staff to student achievement. I believe God purposely placed me at this campus in order for me to minister to and inspire students through my gift of teaching and loving, compassionate spirit.

The purpose of student diversity

Students who attend schools with a diverse population are given the opportunity to:

  • develop an understanding of the perspectives of children from different backgrounds
  • learn to function in a multicultural environment.
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Here is a diverse group of my third grade students, performing in our campus's 3rd grade production, "I heard it on the radio".

The purpose of Establishing Positive Campus Culture

"We believe that no school improvement effort will be effective, maintained, or enhanced unless school culture is addressed."

-Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and Ian Pumpian, writers of "How to Create a Culture of Achievement"

Campus culture is created from an organization's:

  • vision
  • beliefs
  • values
  • mission

Campus culture grows and develops through a combination of traditions, symbols, ceremonies, and rituals that are aligned with the school's vision.

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Competency 001: Campus Culture -College of Education Selected

The principal knows how to shape campus culture by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by the school community.

Positive campus culture:

  • Fosters effort and productivity
  • Improves collegial and collaborative activities that in turn promote better communication and problem solving
  • Supports successful change and improvement efforts
  • Builds commitment
  • Helps students and teachers identify with the school
  • Amplifies energy and motivation of staff members and students
  • Focuses attention and daily behavior on what is important and valued

My Purposeful Implementation of Positive Campus Culture

Capturing Kid's Hearts Study- Teacher Leadership Cohort

As a GPISD Teacher Leadership Cohort member, I completed a study on the "Capturing Kids' Hearts" initiative, and learned from area superintendents how to implement these practices in interactions and relationships with teachers as an administrator.

My Purposeful Collaboration with other teaching professionals

Systemic change in schools requires collaboration. As an educational leader attempts to implement large-scale initiatives that require reanalyzing professional learning, curriculum and instructional materials, family involvement activities, assessment, and other aspects of the education system, collaboration is of key importance. Student achievement grows when educators and instructional leaders work together towards common goals.

Competency 002: Collaboration

The principal knows how to communicate and collaborate with all members of the school community, respond to diverse interests and needs, and mobilize resources to promote student success.
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My Purposeful Professional Conduct- Ethics

An educational leader’s professional conduct must comply with an ethical code of behavior, and the code must set high standards for all educational administrators, because...

  • Educational leaders provide professional leadership across their campus and community
  • The responsibility of the educational leader requires them to maintain standards of exemplary conduct
  • The educational leader should recognize that their actions will be viewed and appraised by the community, their professional staff, and students

Administrators should make decisions based on the best interests of the students. Ethical administrators never put their interests above the greater good of the schools and the community they serve. They consistently uphold due process and respect the rights of all human beings.

Competency 003: Ethics

The principal knows how to act with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical and legal manner.
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This year, I have taught a very diverse group of students, which includes those who qualify for Special Education services, those who are exceptional children and have behavior issues, and those who are in need of behavioral and academic interventions. I have learned a wealth of valuable information about the importance of advocating for these students and making sure their instructional needs are being met.
Action Research Plan- Tiered Reading Interventions

Response to Intervention- Tiered Reading Interventions for emerging/non-readers in Kindergarten

My Purposeful Teaching and Learning

"The creation of knowledge is a direct result of learning. Educational leaders must strive to assist educators and students to develop intellectual tools and strategies from which they can create knowledge. Once knowledge is created, it becomes part of a larger system that enhances learning."

- Bob Kizlik

Competency 004: Teaching and Learning- Director Selected

The principal knows how to facilitate the design and implementation of curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning; ensure alignment of curriculum, instruction, resources, and assessment; and promote the use of varied assessments to measure student performance.

Strategic teaching and strategic learning are closely linked. A strategic educational leader has an understanding of the variables of instruction and is aware of the requirements of learning. With such an awareness comes a sense of timing and their particular style of management. Strategic educational leaders are:

  • Thinkers and decision makers
  • Possess a rich knowledge base
  • Modelers of effective time management and best practices in education

The link between teaching, thinking, and learning is critical.
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Gradual Release Model Demonstration

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My Purposeful Professional Development

Wonderful educational leaders help create wonderful teachers, who create wonderful students. Research shows that an informed administrator, as well as an informed teaching staff, are two of the most important school-related influential factors of student achievement. Therefore, it is crucial for educational leaders to closely plan and analyze how they will train and support both new and highly experienced, veteran teachers.

Competency 006: Staff Development and Personnel Management- Student Selected

The principal knows how to implement a staff evaluation and development system to improve the performance of all staff members, select and implement appropriate models for supervision and staff development, and apply the legal requirements for personnel management.
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Continuous professional development encourages teachers to constantly reanalyze their professional goals and keeps them up-to-date on new research on how children learn, the emerging technology tools being used in various classrooms, and new curriculum resources. The most beneficial professional development is ongoing, allows for teachers to experiment, is collaborative, and is created from interactions with students.
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Goal Setting Conferences

My Purposeful Service Learning

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"[Service learning] creates a web that's very satisfying for administrators. Sometimes the higher up you go, the further you get from the students. Service-learning is a way for administrators to connect with their teaching colleagues, students and community. It is a great vehicle for people in the day-to-day administrative duties to say, "This is why I'm in education. This is what makes it come alive!"

- Jennifer Rylee Welsh, Learning through Service coordinator, Waterford (Conneticut) High School

Service learning offers young people the opportunity to be responsible, caring, participating members of society. Schools with service learning components can empower youth to succeed.

My Purposeful professional goals

"Personal purpose and goals, when aligned to an organization's vision, appear to impact an individual's motivation and engagement in many different ways. When alignment is felt through the sense of greater purpose, there is a deep, almost spiritual, commitment to making the world a better place and helping the organization contribute to that."

- Jodi L. Berg, author of the article, "The role of purpose and goals in symbiotic visions"

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Offer of Administrative position- TLA Cohort of GPISD

I was selected to participate in the 2016-2017 GPISD Teacher Leadership Academy Cohort, in which teachers are trained by GPISD area superintendents and complete a year long interview in order to be considered for a GPISD administrative position

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My Personal Reflection

It was a blessing and a wonderful gift to attend Dallas Baptist University and graduate with a M.Ed in Educational Leadership. I could not imagine a better institution I could have received such a Christ-centered and valuable education from. I could not have completed this program without the the support of my loving, supportive family and boyfriend, as well as my awesome professors, campus administrators, and instructional coach who helped me so much along the way. I want to especially thank my campus principal, Ms. Shaw, and my assistant principal, Mr. Tribble for allowing me opportunities to follow and learn from them. Also, I want to thank Dr. Tribble, Dr. Lebsack and Dr. Jennings for their guidance and encouragement of me throughout the end of this program. They all have had a great impact on my life and professional career. I will always love Dallas Baptist University, and I plan to pursue an Ed.D in Educational Leadership here as well. Throughout this program, I have learned that God purposely placed me at Dallas Baptist University to pursue my purpose in life, and to meet others who would be guiding lights in my path. I hope as I manifest the glory of God that is within me, and live a life that reflects Him, my life will encourage students that I teach and teachers I will lead to do the same. I will give myself away so God can use me to inspire others.

Our Deepest Fear . . .
I Give Myself Away by William McDowell W/Lyrics