After a lot of conversation with my husband and a great deal of thinking about my personal and professional goals, I decided to go back to school one more time. So at the end of August I will start my work toward a doctoral degree in educational technology. I am excited about the program I have chosen and the learning opportunities I will have as I work with a cohort of other educators who share the same goal as me. I am nervous about all of the other pieces that come with this.
I am nervous about the fact that I will have so much homework and research to complete on top of the other responsibilities that I have as a mother, technology coach, and all the other little things I have gotten myself into (like podcasting). I am nervous about the dissertation that I will eventually be required to write. And nervous about trying this again after a failed attempt only a few years ago.
When my husband was in the military he had to deploy for a year. I had finished my master's degree and figured that if he wasn't going to be around for a year I would have the perfect chance to start a doctoral degree. I would have the time to work and get a routine down by the time he came home when I would need his support the most as I started into dissertation work.
That plan did not work. I did not think that I would be so stressed from not having him there. That on top of the stress of the degree program and a full time job did not work well. I was on track for the first class, but a small bump in the second course and the lack of communication from my professors in addition to being alone in a state I had just moved to was just not working. So when my husband's two week leave to be home came around I had a decision to make. I could work through that time, or I could drop the class that I was struggling in and spend two weeks with him before he had to leave for the remainder of his deployment. I chose the latter.
Reflecting on that time I know now that I was 1. at the wrong school, 2. in the wrong program of study, and 3. not in a place where I was appropriately supported to handle the hurdles that came my way. So what has changed? Why do I think I can do this now when I failed to do it the first time around. Well first, I am in a cohort at a school that I feel fits me better. I have already met some of the professors and they seem genuinely interested in how well I do and are approachable. Second, I am in a program that I am really interested in and have a clear vision of where I want this degree to take me. Finally, I have the support I need.
So now I am prepping. I am working to back log podcast episodes and have everything as ready as I can for school to start. This time I feel ready and I feel like I know what I need to have to be ready. Of course those stumbling blocks will still be there, but I have the support I need and the will to push through this time. But for anyone who listens to my podcast, please forgive me if I ever have to slow down how often I drop an episode.