Supporting Educators While They Become School Leaders
At CityU, Online Field Supervisors Support Principal and School Administrator Interns Across the Nation and Around the World.
Meet Gaynell Walker. She served 18 years as a school principal, dedicated to leading highly successful schools. Now Gaynell is dedicated to sharing her professional knowledge and “real-world” expertise with aspiring school leaders as she helps prepare them to be successful principals and administrators. As an online field supervisor at CityU, Gaynell works with educators across the country who are completing internships at their own school or district.
Throughout the internship, Gaynell supports her online interns by ensuring they stay connected to their program through weekly communication. She establishes relationships with both interns and their mentors using online meeting software, allowing for real-time “face-to-face” interactions. During her weekly meetings, Gaynell monitors her interns’ progress, helping interns complete required activities, answering their questions, and supporting them as they reflect on and problem-solve the leadership challenges that they face. Although the intern works most closely with a mentor at the school or district where the intern works, Gaynell ensures that the mentor understands his or her role and responsibilities by providing a Mentor Orientation and holding quarterly online meetings or conference calls.
Gaynell Walker is a kind and supportive person. She is always available to answer any questions and provide insight on how I can gain further experience. She is very down to earth and shares wonderful ideas and perspective. —Lauren Alazzawi, California
Connecting with and learning from other interns is an important part of the CityU principal and district administrator preparation and certification program. Every quarter, Gaynell holds a quarterly seminar with all her interns across the country and internationally using interactive online meeting software. In addition, interns connect on a weekly basis with other online interns and a CityU professor. Gaynell says, “this has been very successful and well received by interns because it gives them the opportunity to participate in collegial sharing from colleagues across the country, sharing ideas, commonalities, challenges while minimizing any feelings of isolation or being a ‘lone ranger.’ ”
Gaynell called weekly to check in, offered positive and encouraging words, brainstormed ideas, and answered my many questions. Gaynell brought interns together in Collaborate Ultra each quarter and I value the time we spend sharing experiences and ideas. I have never felt alone. The support she provides emotionally and academically has been a key element to my personal achievements during my internship.” —Bonny Theis, Washington
The CityU online Educational Leadership Program offers candidates the flexibility to work full-time and still pursue an advanced degree or certification. “In my experience as an online Field Supervisor,” says Gaynell, “educators have repeatedly expressed how the program meets the needs of working professionals while receiving continual professional insight, support and guidance from an experienced principal or school program administrator. “
In addition to serving as one of our most attentive and skilled field supervisors, Gaynell Walker is a versatile faculty who has taught Current and Historic Education Perspectives, Leadership for Diverse Learners, and Change Management. Whether working with candidates in person or online, Gaynell relates naturally to each student to keep them supported, engaged, and on track on professional growth toward program completion and career readiness. Gaynell is a gem of a person and a wonderful professional resource. – Mike Walker, Associate Program Director, CityU Educational Leadership