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Reection of Graduate Studies

by Rachael Somes Furthering my education and obtaining my masters degree in the eld of

education has always been a goal that I have had for myself. When I rst began teaching ten years ago, obtaining a masters degree was a stipulation in the contact of the teaching position that I accepted. At this time, I was just beginning a new job and nally had a classroom of my own...something I had been dreaming about ever since I made the decision to become a teacher. I did not really think of what direction I would want to further my studies in nor had I any idea of the different programs that were offered. After my rst few years of teaching and gaining more insight into this new world

that I had entered, I concluded that literacy was an area of passion for me. I was fortunate enough to be a classroom host for a literacy coach and I had the chance to work one-on-one with her throughout my third teaching year. This experience proved invaluable and really sparked and fueled my interest in deepening my knowledge around literacy instruction. Many questions that I was having that went unanswered with undergrad work and day-to-day teaching were answered during this time and I knew that I wanted to simply keep getting better and better. I chose the University of New England to help me in this lifelong goal.

As a single mom of two small children, the online format of the literacy program at

UNE was initially very enticing. But as I looked over the courses that I would be taking and the different studies that I would be involved in, I knew the t would be even more perfect. I have continuously been impressed with the level of direct, hands-on driven focus and reective work of the program from the very beginning to the very end of this educational journey. The level of collaboration has been second to none and I feel as though I now have a strong network of colleagues across the world with whom I can call upon to ask questions, share ideas and celebrate...all at my ngertips! Through the courses that I have taken at UNE I have learned to really look at my

teaching reectively. I have always tried to do this in the past, but now this is something that I feel has been ne tuned and crafted as I continued on this journey. I have been able to feel more condent and have a new sense of empowerment with the experiences that I have had while going through the two year masters program at UNE. I am very thankful for the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have during my graduate program. Thank you.