So why get a doctorate?

Some have asked me why I want to pursue this madness of getting a doctorate degree in educational leadership. I’ve had some surmise that maybe I’ll go into administration. Others want to know what my plans will be once I’m done with this last part of my educational career.

I’ll say from the outset, I have absolutely NO desire to go into district level administration. I’ve seen too many good people eaten up by that particular system. As an outsider looking in, district administration appears to make those in it throw their own beliefs out the window and agree with whatever the superintendent wants to do. Integrity and doing what’s best for kids seems to be a very small part of being able to keep your job once you cross-over to the “dark” side.

When asked the question of what I want to do upon earning my doctorate by the two women who interviewed me, I replied simply, “I want to be on the same playing field as those making decisions for those who choose to stay in the classroom.” I sincerely  believe that more of “us” need to pursue getting our doctorates or getting nationally board certified so that when those with admin credentials and/or doctorates will see us as equals and will maybe actually listen when we say that research doesn’t support their latest bad idea.

I also want to get involved at the state level and help craft educational policy. When I went into teaching just a little over a decade ago, I remember being in my first staff meeting, surrounded by fellow teaching colleagues and being in awe of them. It took me some time to actually feel like I was one of them – the ones who I still believe have one of the most important jobs in the world – teaching our kids.

I’ve just never understood why we place more value on those so far removed from the classroom than those who do the actual daily work of teaching kids. I hope to be their voice in the way that Diane Ravitch and Linda Darling-Hammond have been their voice and the voice for sane education policies. These two women exemplify what I hope to accomplish when I finally can add “Dr.” to my name. (Although, like Diane Ravitch, I won’t insist that people call me that!)

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One thought on “So why get a doctorate?

  1. Margaret says:

    Absolutely true! With no PhD, we don’t seem to have as much credibility about what works, although we are in the “trenches” dealing with real students and real issues. I totally agree with your reasons for doing this!

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