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Professional Development for the (Aspiring) Texas Administrator’s Soul

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Austin, Texas – the city of fun, live music, quirky individuals, and heart of Texas education. Being from the Austin area, I was only too happy to return for the TASSP Summer Workshop.

When the doors for registration opened on Wednesday morning, I stepped into the exhibit hall shaking with nervousness, trepidation, and exhilaration. There was a buzz and electricity in the air. It’s unmistakable – the beehive of intelligent minds coming together to learn, grow, and reflect. I looked around at the hundreds of educational leaders in Texas, and then I looked at myself. It was painfully obvious I was a “newbie”. I took a deep breath and thought to myself “everyone starts somewhere right?”

In one of my sessions, I sat next to an administrator who spoke with me during the “think, pair, share” portion. He asked me where I worked and if I was a principal or an assistant principal. The moment had finally come; I was about to be found out as, dare I say, an educational graduate student – really just a teacher. His reaction wasn’t what I expected. He smiled slightly me at me, and with the timbre of reassurance he said “You’re not just a teacher. What do you do?”

So if I’m not just a teacher, what am I? What do I do?

  • A student seeking truth through the pursuit of knowledge and reflection.
  • A teacher passionately dedicated to helping her students find success and belief in themselves.
  • A budding, albeit somewhat naïve, administrator looking to make a difference in education
  • A friend. A mentor. A servant.

My heart and passion grew in the professional growth I received from the sessions Coaching Collaboration with Cheryl Hunt, Instructional Leadership 2.0 with David Yaffie, True AP Literature and Composition Curriculum with Dr. John Crain, Raising Test Scores and Improving Discipline with Dr. Ron Kelley, and Using Twitter to Build a PLN with Herbert O’Neil and Troy Mooney. But it occurs to me now that the validation and acceptance I received from an administrator who didn’t know me at all was not only professional development and growth but personal development and growth for my soul.

So who is that you are and what is it that you do? How did TASSP Summer Workshop help you grow?

All my best,


Carrie is a high school English teacher at Trinity ISD and a Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Leadership graduate student at Sam Houston State University. Being new to education and educational leadership, she offers a fresh, contemporary perspective. Carrie is the co-founder of #txed on Twitter. You can follow her at @MsRossEnglish.