Building community is an essential philosophy of the Faculty of Education; one which Andrew Doyle embodied throughout his time as a graduate and undergraduate at the U of L. As an undergrad, Andrew was president of the Education Undergrad Society, establishing his drive to build an education community early in his career. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Andrew spent nine years teaching elementary students for the Rocky View School Division.
His drive to build community grew into a desire to pursue a leadership role, and so Andrew returned to the U of L to take part in the MEd Educational Leadership program. Andrew spent the last two years entrenched not only in the campus education community, but also in his career community as an assistant principal. Dr. Carmen Mombourquette, one of Andrew’s supervisors, applauds Andrew’s supportive leadership style: “During his MEd, Andrew was one of the quiet, yet solid leaders of the group. He never pushed himself onto the group yet was always there to support his colleagues.”
What was your most memorable experience in the Educational Leadership program?
It’s difficult to distill so many great memories down to a single favourite experience. Perhaps what had the most lasting impact on me is the many fantastic conversations and connections I made. Specifically, the informal conversations with our profs and cohort members during the summer, often outside of the classroom. These relationships are truly the most memorable of experiences.
What is the most important lesson you learned from your MEd experience?
The power of deep personal reflection, not only for our course work, but also applying it to my leadership role in my career. I now reflect instinctually on my practice every day, from interaction to interaction, to determine its impact on myself and its impact on others.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your Graduate Studies experience?
Countless people: however, my Principal and mentor for last 7 years, Andrea Craigie, provided essential feedback, suggestions, and opportunities to discuss coursework and my practice. My success wouldn’t have been possible without her.
How will you apply what you have learned in the Educational Leadership MEd in the classroom?
There are countless things I’ve learned from my studies that I intend to apply in my career, though I’m not sure anything could have prepared us to teach through a pandemic. But I wouldn’t be as prepared to lead others in this time without the reflection and practice that my MEd experience gave me.
What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their graduate studies journey?
My two greatest tips are:
- Build relationships with your cohort. They are the key to your success and lasting friendships.
- Embrace the struggle. The greatest learning occurs through the most difficult tasks.