Grad School and Teaching

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 10, 2010

    Hi everyone. I know I have not been on here in awhile but I have been so busy with school. I'm so tired when I get home and can't seem to do much else.

    Which brings me to my question. I am starting graduate school in January and wonder how hard/easy it is to take 1-3 classes while teaching.
    I am going to go regardless but I am wondering how will I keep up with everything. Anyone do it now? Tips?
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 10, 2010

    Like most teachers I know, I got my Masters while teaching full time.

    I took one class per semester, and 2 per summer. I thought that more than that would simply be too difficult to manage.

    I'm not sure about any tips; I finished in 1984 so I've forgotten any timesavers I ever knew.
     
  4. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,403
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 10, 2010

    I did 2 classes one semester to finish up and it was hell. I would not recommend doing more than one class. Definitely not three.
     
  5. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 10, 2010

    :(
    I have to take more than one to get loans. I will probably take 2.
     
  6. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    358
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 10, 2010

    I'm working on my Master's full-time and teaching part-time (for the university). Even my weekends are devoted completely to classwork, so I don't have a lot of free time. I think taking any more than two classes while teaching full-time may be too tough.

    Here are things I do to make my life a little easier:
    1. I make sure I reserve at least one evening a week for relaxing. Even though I need to get work done, I need a break to continue to be focused and productive. I pick a day each week and take it a little easier on that day in terms of schoolwork and lesson planning.

    2. Try to set aside specific times for working on teaching and specific times for working on classwork. I have time slots set aside during the week for each task. It helps me divide up the work. Also, when my eyes start crossing after writing papers, I switch to grading papers. I'm still being productive, but I'm not working on the same thing all day.

    3. Crockpot meals and leftovers keep me fed and don't take too much time.

    4. You won't be able to be perfect in both spheres. If you acknowledge that a lesson will be off every once in a while and that not all your assignments you turn in will be as perfect as you want, you won't suffer so much!

    5. Always get sleep. If you're exhausted, you will be more productive if you just go to bed instead of staying up to get work done. Power naps help during the day, too.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,842
    Likes Received:
    321

    Dec 10, 2010

    I am not in my own classroom, but I am co-teaching Mon-Thurs and taking three grad classes on Friday. It is nuts, but I'm managing. You will never get everything done that you want to, but force yourself to sleep and eat properly.
     
  8. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 10, 2010

    I am thinking I may just take one class and try to get on a payment plan or something.

    I will devote one time to rest during the week and also do nothing on Saturdays. But I will do work on sundays.
    I hope I can make it even if I have to take 2 classes.
     
  9. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 10, 2010

    I got my master's degree during my first two years of teaching, and I took two classes each semester throughout. It will keep you busy, but in my opinion it was manageable. I often worked on my classwork during my planning period, or right after school. I scheduled my classwork like it was part of my job duties, and usually worked on assignments after school from my desk.

    That said, I do not have children at home! I'm sure that would make it much harder.
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 11, 2010

    What killed me, in addition to coaching Speech and Debate (practice every afternoon, tournaments all day, every Saturday from the end of September until March) was the time it took just getting to St. Johns for the grad classes.

    Without traffic, it's probably a half hour drive. But "without traffic" pretty much never happened.
     
  11. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 11, 2010

    I'm teaching full time and taking classes towards my masters right now.

    My classes are all online though because I knew there was no way I would want to sit through a three hour lecture after working all day.

    It's A LOT of work. Very stressful. I have two papers I have to write per week, in addition to participating in the online discussion. and because I'm so busy, I usually end up writing the papers Friday night or Saturday morning.

    I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and the first time I got points taken off a paper I turned in, I freaked. My advice is it's okay to turn in an A- or B+ paper - don't drive yourself crazy trying to make everything perfect or your going to get burnt out. You have a lot on your plate - grad school, working, family, friends...something will have to give a little so you can fit all that in and still have time for you!

    Good luck!
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,125
    Likes Received:
    1,546

    Dec 11, 2010

    I took 2 classes per semester. I didn't have summers off so I didn't take classes then. I didn't have a problem with keeping up with the classwork but I did use a personal day here and there to make sure I got everything done.
     
  13. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Messages:
    660
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 11, 2010

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you...

    I take one class at a time. It's a seven week class and then we get one week off before the new one starts.

    I wouldn't recommend taking much more than that if you want to keep your sanity!
     
  14. pumpkincup

    pumpkincup Rookie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I took two classes at once and it was hard. I had to do it to get financial aid. Perhaps you can talk to your advisor or others in the same program as you are to make sure you are not taking two very difficult classes at the same time.
    Does your school system reimburse you? Maybe you can use the reimubursement from the first semester to pay for the next class the following semester. That way once in a while you can take one class per semester.
     
  15. nasirahc83

    nasirahc83 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I am a first year teacher and I am taking two classes and yes it is tiresome but like my husband says if it is worth having then it worth struggling. But at the same time, I have quite understanding professors at least this semester I did so when I was late with a paper, I was not deducted points or anything. Also, I am like you, I have to take two in order to get aid. Lastly, my students come first, so I always make sure I get my "school/students work done first" and then "grad school work"..my only tip is to make a schedule and stick to it. For me my schedule is tuesday and Thursday stay late at least 1 and half hour to make copies, grade work, and do a little planning. Wednesdays, after the students leave and spend about three hours on grad school work. Friday, is planning for an hour and grad school 1 and half and yes my weekend is devoted mostly to grad-school.
     
  16. nasirahc83

    nasirahc83 Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I think my only saving grace is that I don't have children of my own. I think if I were a mother then one class would be enough or I think I would stop teaching and only take a few classes.
     
  17. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I take two classes a term, but they are condensed, so I do one at a time for 6-8 weeks and then another one right after it. I go three weeknights a month plus one Saturday.

    I work really hard at looking ahead and working ahead as possible. I spend both Saturday and Sunday afternoons working on homework. During the week I also do homework, even if it's just reading the chapter and saving the written response for another evening.

    I keep meticulous notes about what I what to do at school (copies, plans, ideas) and then one day a week I plan out how they will fit into the next week's schedule. Then I spend one day writing my newsletter and making copies and organizing the materials.

    Example:
    Sunday - me - church and coffee with dh; house - chores; grad school - reading homework

    Monday - me - watch House with dh; house - dinner/lunch prep; grad school - research

    Tuesday - me - dog walk; house - dinner/lunch prep, ocassional drink with friend; grad school - work on research paper

    Wednesday - me - surf internet before class; house - groceries; grad school - class

    Thursday - me - watch NCIS w/ dh; house - dinner/lunch prep, chores; school - speech practice, newletter; grad school - n/a

    Friday - me - coffee/dessert w/ dh; house - laundry; school - set up lessons for next week; grad school - study at coffee shop w/ dh

    Saturday - me - dog park, social activity in evening; house - pick up; grad school - study

    Obviously we have no kids, but I do try to do something each day for me, even if that just means making sure dh and I are eatting good food.
     
  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Dec 11, 2010

    Last year was my official first year. I was supposed to finish my master's in the spring, but I put it off until the summer. I didn't feel like I could juggle the load and teaching. I know many teachers do, and if it's something you have to do then you will manage it somehow. If you have a hubby, will he be helping you? I had mine help with dinners when I finished. Any help you can get will be great.
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,954
    Likes Received:
    1,449

    Dec 11, 2010

    I started my MA in January of 1995, and I finished it in December of 1996.

    I took 1 or 2 classes each of the 4 regular semesters, and I took 2 to 3 classes each of the 2 summer semesters.

    At the time there was no such thing as "online" degrees, so I was traveling to the campus (20 miles each way) to take my classes. They met from 6:00-8:45 one night a week. When I took two classes I'd typically take them on Tuesdays & Thursdays to avoid having back-to-back classes.

    I was busy, but I really didn't find it to be all that bad. I was in the English department, not education, so I was reading constantly and writing papers. One summer I read almost 50 books and wrote 18 papers.

    I was teaching five different class preps at two schools while completing my state-mandated teacher internship, working with the academic team, and taking classes. It was my second year of teaching.

    One of the things that helped was that I was young (24) and didn't have a husband, kids, or other things to compete for my time.
     
  20. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I do not have a husband or kids. So I guess that is a good thing.
    Also the classes are only once a week. So with two classes I will only go 2 nights a week. I really hope I can manage it. I'm going to have to.

    I guess the best advice you all gave was to stick to a schedule.
     
  21. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,513
    Likes Received:
    15

    Dec 11, 2010

    I'm working on my 2nd Masters, 1 class a semester ... it isn't easy, but it is manageable. There have been several times that I've pulled all nighters and had to teach all day.
     
  22. iheart5thgrade

    iheart5thgrade Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I finished my Masters this summer.

    I always took two classes each semester, taking only one would have taken SO much longer to get that much-needed pay raise!

    I was super busy with two classes, but it was by no means impossibly hard. I've been surprised how many posts have told you to only take one class?

    Most of my classes had work that I could "work ahead" on....I knew the assignments ahead of time, so I could carve out some time and knock out many assignments in one sitting. That was very helpful to me.

    I loved my classes that were online and weekend classes. The classes during the week were the hardest to me...

    During one semester I took three courses---now I DEFINITELY do NOT recommend that! But two? That worked fine for me.

    I don't have kids, but I'm a busy person. I work a lot for my church and have directed our school plays while doing my Masters. It's just about organizing your time and staying focused.

    Good luck!
     
  23. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    Well I know the program I am in is specifically for teachers to hopefully they will be more understanding.
     
  24. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2010

    I think that they will be more understanding. I was in a cohort program specificallly for teachers also. While they did not compromise the academic rigor, they were willing to excuse us from class for conference nights if they came up (although we did make-up assignments). Like another poster mentioned, they gave out assignments well in advance and evenly spaced throughout the semester so we weren't hit too hard with work at one time. They will understand that you are working professionals, most with families at home, etc. They know that class is not all that is on your agenda. You'll be fine with two classes if you are self-disciplined and willing to work hard. Good luck!
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Dec 12, 2010

    This.
     
  26. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,125
    Likes Received:
    1,546

    Dec 12, 2010

    I think many people worry that since they had so much "work" to do in their undergrad classes, they will not be able to take many classes now that they are teaching. I don't know if anyone had the same experience I had, but I felt that grad school was much different than undergrad in that I didn't have ANY tests to study for and I knew my assignments ahead of time (projects, papers, etc.). I would never have been able to take undergrand classes and work full time but since all of the students in my grad classes were teachers, I think the professors did not expect us to spend every waking moment working on assignments. I don't know if getting my Masters was "easier" but I had a 3.85 GPA in grad school and only a 3.2 in undergrad!
     
  27. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    191
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 12, 2010

    I'm in the last 2 semesters of my Master's...it's hard, I won't lie, but it's do-able. Try to stay organized in both areas.

    I took 4 classes this summer, 2 in the fall, 2 in spring 2011, and 1 in the summer 2011.
     
  28. lou reed

    lou reed Companion

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 12, 2010

    I take two classes/six credits a semester. My program's online so it's a little more flexible. I usually devote one day per weekend to school work which sucks, but it's necessary. I found out the hard way that making any other large commitments while working and going to school is really stressful, though.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 12, 2010

    I just pulled out my college file to answer your question accurately. I started teaching full time in the fall which meant I also started my "internship", a program for all first-year teachers in my state. That should have kept me busy enough, but I also started graduate school that fall as well. I started a Rank I program the semester after earning my Master's. Here's how it broke down as far as classes per semester:

    Fall - 2 classes
    Spring - 2 classes
    Summer - 4 classes
    Fall - 2 classes
    Spring - Practicum (Graduated with Master's)
    Summer - 3 classes
    Fall - 3 classes
    Spring - 4 classes (Earned Rank I)

    I was able to do this because I have no children, I truly don't have a social life, and I didn't have to travel for classes...just locked myself in our office here at home. It's unfortunate so many people discount online learning. Trust me, my life was teach and learn, teach and learn, teach and learn. I read constantly, wrote constantly, and because of my program, was creating multimedia projects and the like constantly. I was actually rather lost when I finished...oh, what to do with free time!? :)

    One class per semester sets too slow a pace for my liking. However, if I had children and other obligations that required that pace, then obviously that is the route I would accept. I simply prefer to rip things off like a Band-Aid and be finished. I was able to breathe such a sigh of relief to be a third year teacher with my Rank I was taken care of. If you do decide to go with one class, then I suggest taking a few in the summer to offset that.

    Oh, and I found my graduate courses to be so much more valuable than my undergraduate courses...so that helped, to feel I was truly learning.

    Best wishes!
     
  30. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 12, 2010

    I only did one class while I was teaching, two classes each semester in the summer. Geez... you don't want to kill yourself or destroy your health.
     
  31. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 13, 2010

    I didn't discount it. It just didn't exist when I was going for my Master's in the early '80's.
     
  32. Rox

    Rox Cohort

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    586
    Likes Received:
    19

    Dec 13, 2010

    I finished my MA during my first year of teaching. During those two semesters, I was taking full loads of classes (4 or 5 classes). I had no life that year. I used Dream Dinners for food (www.dreamdinners.com). Other locations may have different places (Super Suppers, etc.) that provide something similar. I made sure to leave my work at work, and to work on schoolwork at home only. Keeping them separate made it easier. I don't think I watched a single TV show or went to a single event outside of work/class.
     
  33. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2010

    I don't know anyone who has taken more than one graduate class while teaching. I wouldn't even attempt more than one at a time.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 13, 2010

    The comment wasn't at all referencing anyone in particular—I hadn't even read through all of the posts before commenting. :)
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,881
    Likes Received:
    159

    Dec 13, 2010

    I've never had a FT teaching job while in grad school, but I was student teaching FT, had a part-time non-education related job on evenings & weekends & writing up/studying for my comprehensive exam all at once. The exam was on 2 Sats for 4 hrs each day. If you didn't pass the 1st time, you had to wait another yr around.

    Glad I passed!
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Dec 13, 2010

    No,I just thought it was funny.Online education wasn't even a blip on hte radar when I was in Grad School..
     
  37. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2010

    I'm starting mine in January... it's a cohort program, each class is 8 weeks and then you start another one... several weeks for winter break, a week or so for spring break, and a month or so off in the summer. Done in 2 years, so it's 10 classes total. The cohort is meeting at a high school about 10 minutes from where I work, so I know that's the afternoon I can stay at school to get stuff done.

    I have an idea as to what to expect because my mom's starting her 2nd year in the same program. It looks like it's a lot of reading and writing, but not the tests and quizzes we had in undergrad. It also looks liek most of what she's doing, she's able to have as a base what's going on in the classroom... so it's more theory and application than theory alone... I'd always prefer the useful stuff over the busy work :)
     
  38. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Dec 13, 2010

    Oh, I see what you're saying. Online education certainly seemed to surface and then skyrocket immediately...especially because people have figured out you can't fit more hours into the day. :)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. kanthony95
Total: 314 (members: 4, guests: 283, robots: 27)
test