Kenneth McKee: ASCD Emerging Leader
How did you choose your area of graduate study?I chose the MAEd Reading program because I wanted to strengthen my understanding of reading development. Although I knew much about adolescent literacy, I understood that graduate study would enhance my knowledge of the research of fundamental literacy processes in order to better teach striving readers and inform my colleagues’ instructional practices. Many of the students we see in secondary schools still lack early literacy skills to learn in our classrooms. Secondary teachers are experts in the disciplines they teach, but they need a “thinking partner” when it comes to supporting their students’ reading and writing. Having a more in-depth knowledge of the science behind reading has enabled me to integrate effective classroom practices within the contexts of multiple disciplines.
What did you find most challenging/rewarding about your graduate school experience?My greatest challenge was achieving balance. Working as a full-time educator, spending time with my family and friends, and completing readings and assignments (along with all the other responsibilities in adult life) was complex. I set routine times for working on assignments, which helped quite a bit. The most rewarding part of my graduate experience was the professional relationships I developed during the course of the program. Many of ECU’s professors have become mentors for me, and I continue to learn and grow from my colleagues who were also students in the Reading program.
How do you think your ECU graduate education has helped you, either professionally or personally?
What do you like most about being a literacy/instructional coach?
What recognition are you most proud of any why?
What experiences will you have as an ASCD Emerging Leader?As an ASCD Emerging Leader, I will become a member of a network of ASCD leaders around the world. This summer I will be attending the ASCD L2L (Leader to Leader) conference in Arlington, VA. The program is designed to be flexible, so Emerging Leaders can pursue activities based upon their interests and the amount of time they can dedicate to the process. Two particularly exciting options include having an ASCD Leadership Coach, who will help me design a leadership plan and work with me to achieve it, and having an opportunity to apply for an exclusive pool of grants to create innovative opportunities for students during the second year of the program.
What would you say to someone considering ECU as a potential graduate school?Not only would I strongly encourage it, I already have. I have at least three colleagues currently taking coursework at ECU because of my ongoing discussions about my wonderful experiences with the graduate program that the College of Education has to offer. Although I completed my program requirements through online courses, I feel strongly tied to the ECU community. My affection for ECU demonstrates both the instructors’ teaching expertise and their ability to build relationships with students.
Hobbies: Spending Time with my Family, Walking and Running, Watching Movies, Reading, Social Media, Disc Golf, Cooking, Craft Beer
|5:45am-7:00am||Wake up, get ready, breakfast & coffee, say goodbye to my family|
|7:00am-8:00am||Travel to one of my schools; prepare for the day|
|8:00am-9:30am||Meet with a teacher to plan lessons integrating literacy scaffolding|
|9:30am-11:00am||Analyze data with a team of teachers or administrators in order to determine student strengths/struggles and determine next steps|
|11:00am-12:00pm||Check in with teachers, catch up on emails, facilitate meetings with professional learning groups, or provide enrichment opportunities for students|
|12:00pm-1:30pm||Teach a lesson to students in order to demonstrate or experiment with instructional practices|
|1:30pm-3:00pm||Research and design resources to assist classroom teachers; observe a class and record data for a colleague; planning for upcoming lessons or meetings|
|3:15pm-4:30pm||Work with teacher teams (Literacy Leadership Teams, professional development teams, school committees, PLCs)|
|4:30pm-5:00pm||Pick up my son from childcare; travel home|
|5:00pm-7:30pm||Spend time with my family, family dinner, cooking, etc.|
|7:30pm-8:00pm||Evening walk/run around my neighborhood|
|8:00pm-10:00pm||Research, emails, work preparation, Twitter chats, chores, and watching TV or movies with my wife|
|10:00pm-11:00pm||Reading or listening to podcast before bedtime|
College & Dept.: College of Education; Literacy Studies, English & History Education
Favorite class: Investigations in Literacy Education
Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Terry Atkinson
Dream job: Educational Researcher & Author
Your words to live by: "Be a light, not a judge; be a model, not a critic." - Stephen Covey
Significant life lesson you've learned while at ECU: If you work hard, continuously learn, and respect people, amazing opportunities will come to you.