I met with our district's Superintendent on Tuesday to discuss one of my classes this semester in my Ph.D. program. The class is a qualitative research class and we will go through the entire research cycle, much like we did for our intro class this summer. In the meeting, I mentioned that I had done my summer research project in the intro to qual research on teacher perceptions of the iPersonalize teacher professional development experience. His response was, "Oh, I'd love to read it." Right...
Honestly, I wasn't sure if he was sincere or not. I mean, who outside of higher education chooses to read research papers? (As it turns out, he does.) And even so, I was nervous to send him the paper. What if it was crap? It's one thing to produce work for a class. The course professor understood that I'm a novice when it comes to research and that this was our first attempt at a complete research cycle. My classmates are in the same boat too. They get the context in which that paper was written. So, it wasn't a big deal to share the work with them. The Superintendent? Not so much so.
After hovering over the trackpad with the mouse on the "send" button, I finally sent it to him this morning. Honestly, I didn't think he'd actually read it. He's awfully busy and it's a 55-page research paper. He surprised me though (again) and called as he left work to tell me that he loved it (though he admitted that he hadn't read the whole thing yet). I'm not going to lie. That felt pretty darn good to hear. He requested a shortened version of it (who can blame him?) to share with a colleague and suggested that we explore submitting it to journals.
So, perhaps I do have a future in research? Who knows? I guess I shouldn't jump ahead. This was just the first research paper after all. Heaven knows there will be many more in the immediate future. Let's hope they're all as well received as this one was.