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Lynn McGee Personal/Professional Goal Statement

I am currently in my fifth year of teaching mathematics and science at Graham Middle School in Graham, NC. I have taught both subjects in grades 6 and 7. My philosophy of teaching has been molded by my life experiences as a career mechanical/chemical engineer in technologically advanced industries, namely aerospace, automotive and microelectronics, as well as my teaching experiences in a Title 1 school. I believe the most important aspects of education involve the development of good communication and collaborative skills, the mastery of higher order reasoning skills and awareness that relentless determination results in success. The more effective and skilled students become in these areas, the more rewarding their lives will be. I would like to pursue an advanced degree to gain more insight in classroom technologies and strategies that will enhance student engagement while enhancing their skills for the 21st century. Additionally, an advanced degree would enhance my abilities as an inspirational educator who motivates students to pursue careers in math and science.

I obtained my teaching licensure through the Carolina On-Line Education (COLE) program through the University of North Carolina in January, 2007. This was an online program for lateral entry Middle Grades Math and Science teachers. All requirements were completed in May, 2009, to clear a Standard Professional II teaching license in the state of North Carolina. I really enjoyed taking the classes in the online. The convenience and flexibility far outweighed any technical issues encountered. I was excited to read the posts from my classmates and implement many classroom management techniques and strategies from my colleagues. There was synergistic collaboration between cohort participants and many innovative lessons were created. It has been my experience that the traditional classroom setting often does not lend itself to such collaboration. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of interaction with my classmates in the online program which

Lynn McGee Personal/Professional Goal Statement-Cont Page 2 led to such a positive learning experience. I look forward to participating and enjoying similar success with the University of New Englands online program.

High level student involvement is a constant challenge in the classroom and I strive to be an educational leader who is on the forefront of implementing the latest strategies for the 21st century learner. My current style of teaching promotes innovative problem solving and higher order thinking skills by creating project assignments requiring students to research topics, apply this knowledge and report solutions to solve these problems. I often pick real life problems from my industrial

experience or issues that students have some basis of prior knowledge. I also believe community awareness and involvement is necessary for student educational development. My students and I have collaborated with the Perclean Scholars at Elon University to build an outdoor classroom on campus for use by all students at Graham Middle School. We also share student projects and pen pal letters with a sister middle school in Sri Lanka and look forward to packages that arrive biannually from these friends.

As an educator, several questions have surfaced regarding our educational system. Why are we falling so far behind other countries in math and science? Why are many middle school children not able to multiply or divide without a calculator, nor read at grade level, yet are introduced to higher level math concepts they are developmentally unable to comprehend? By attending the University of New Englands Master of Science in Education program, my goal is to gain a better understanding of the process of learning, especially in mathematics and science, implement engaging strategies to develop student mastery in these areas, and become an inspirational, educational leader by combining my engineering skills with educational skills. The future is in the hands of our youth. I want to give them a hand up.