Hello! I’m a newcomer to the graduate student blog and I am in the Educational Leadership and Supervision program.

More specifically, I am working toward my School Building Leader and School District Leader Advanced Certificate and NYS SBL/SDL Certification and my courses are all online. When I started the program I was new to online learning, and worried I wouldn’t catch on. But it is pretty easy – the help desk at Canisius was/is well, very helpful! And professors are understanding about the technology issues that come up now and then. I chose the online program mostly for the convenience. There are pluses and minuses, but for me the positives outweigh the drawbacks. First the positives – not having to travel to classes; you schedule your own learning times (the coursework is posted and you work when it is convenient for you – with an eye to assignment deadlines, of course); you move through material at your own pace. The main drawback is interacting at a distance – there is something about face-to-face interaction that is difficult to replicate in the online environment. In the courses I’ve taken so far, instructors work to bridge that gap, and courses often have an emphasis on discussion boards as a way to dialogue with your classmates and professor about course topics.

Speaking of discussion boards, in one of my courses, a classmate wrote a discussion board post that has given me good food for thought. In writing about her upcoming internship, she wrote, “I’m looking forward to moving out of my comfort zone.” This struck me as a powerful statement – optimistic, forward thinking, and unafraid to be challenged. What a great approach! I’m mentioning it here, both to pass along these good words of wisdom and also as a reminder to myself that learning is a process of stretching – it shouldn’t feel too easy. And although moving outside my comfort zone often doesn’t feel so great in the moment, the end result of doing so is always well worth it.

Best wishes as you move forward with your goals this semester!

Emily