How difficult is it to work toward a Master's while teaching?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by michelb366, May 23, 2008.

  1. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    May 23, 2008

    I know everyone is different, but I have an opportunity to go for my Master's in Gifted Education at an in-state college. It will require 2 3-credit courses per semester plus summer. I will have to travel 2-4 weekends per semester to attend in-person class; everything else is online or independent work.
    I'm really leaning toward this as I have recently taken a GT coordinator position and will need to take more classes anyway. I have 2 kids at home (6 & 10). How horribly time-consuming is this going to be? Any information, positive or negative, would be appreciated.
    Michelle
     
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  3. positiveautism

    positiveautism Comrade

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    May 23, 2008

    I think that part-time is not too bad. I went to grad school part-time while teaching and it was managable. It's very time-comsuming though. However, I didn't have kids at the time. If possible, I wouldn't take more than 2 classes at a time. It sounds like a great opportunity!
     
  4. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    Thanks for the feedback - we are not allowed to take more than two. They set it up as a cohort, so we take classes with the same 15-20 people all the way through.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It sounds interesting. Have you ever taken graduate-level classes before?

    Graduate work is difficult and often tedious, and it usually requires a significant amount of time and motivation. If you can finagle those two things, I think you'll be just fine.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your decision! :)
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I did my +60 beyond Masters while working full time, 2 kids at home...mostly on weekends. It's do-able with a supportive family... How's your spouse?
     
  7. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    May 23, 2008

    I am currently in a master's program while I teach. I am in a cohort of 20. Every 8 weeks we start a new class and will be done after 18 months. At times it can be a bit tough (writing 15 page papers at the same time as conferences and report cards,) but overall it is doable.
     
  8. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    May 24, 2008

    I am working on my Masters and doing the same type of cohort that you are talking about. I've taken two classes for the past two semesters, and going to several conferences that count for class credit this summer. It can be tough when things are due at the same time, but if you can be organized and manage your time it is doable!!!
     
  9. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    May 24, 2008

    Thanks for all your responses. I have taken a few grad courses, but usually 1-2 credit classes, one at a time. My DH would be helpful as far as the kids are concerned. I'm leaning toward it, but will need to decide for sure soon.
     
  10. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I did my grad work while working..it is time consuming and can be stressful, but is probably the best way to do it. So many of the assignments that I had were based on real classroom experiences, and I was able to pull a lot of the lesson plans for my classes from my own classroom.

    I took my time, I think it was about 2 1/2 years to complete the work....taking only one class per semester during the school year and really stacking up over the summers when I had more time. I also did a Saturday class once, that was not too bad....

    Good luck!
     
  11. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    May 24, 2008

    Thanks, that is sort-of my rationale. Since I'm developing this program pretty much from scratch, and am going to have to learn a lot of new things anyway, why not get "credit" for it? Thanks for all of your help, guys!
     
  12. tomfoolery

    tomfoolery Rookie

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    I started work on my masters this year as a first year teacher. There are times where I've wanted to pull my hair out but it was only because I wasn't better organized. I've found my current grad level courses are not as rigorous as those I took when I earned my MDiv. The instructors seem to understand that we are full time teachers with families. I've also appreciated the camaraderie with my cohort.
     
  13. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    It took me 3 years to complete my masters. There were times when it was really stressful, especially when I was taking 2 classes in a semester, but I always made it through somehow. I'm glad to be getting back to just teaching this fall though:)
     
  14. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    May 25, 2008

    I completed my masters while teaching. 2 classes a semester for 2 years, year around. I had 2 teenagers and a preteen at the time. It really involves good organization and time management.
    My husband was very supportive and dealt with the children while I was reading or writing papers. He took them to the movies and their activities and made sure we all ate on the weekends. I always say that we spent more on take out food than my masters! :)
     
  15. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I would advise taking ONE class the first time around while you are teaching and then adding the second class the second semester so that you have time to adjust to handling both.
     
  16. iSaint

    iSaint Rookie

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    A lot depends on the support of your family. My wife was very supportive. But, I didn't teach until I was nearly finished (it was an alternate route). The travel would seem to be an issue. Can you take the family with you some weekends? Is it day travel?

    My experience is that there is a lot of outside work. Since you're a teacher, though, this may be less stressful for you. You will learn a lot about tweaking what you already use.

    For me, it was a great experience! The pay raise was nice, too! Good luck!
     
  17. MsG

    MsG Companion

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    May 25, 2008

    I started with one class my first semester, took 2 for the next, and am doing 4 (i know!) this summer. I'll finish in May, after taking 2 in the fall and one in the spring. Only 5 semesters, and it hasn't been bad. I met some sweet girls and we've all met and helped each other out on big projects and papers. The college I'm going to offers a lot of blended classes (online and meeting a few times during the semester), so it does make it a little easier. You can do it!!
     
  18. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    I just finished an additional license that counts towards my masters. I started off taking one class last spring, two in the summer, one in the fall and then two during the winter term at the same time. I was fine until I had two on top of each other. Two in a semester as long as they don't over lap by more than a week or two I think would be fine. I don't have kids, but I did plan a wedding, get married, and move during all of this. I learned that sick days can be used to write papers and sleep (I only did this twice, but it was a HUGE sanity-saver.)

    I would set up play dates and get the kids out of the house one day a week doing something that your hubby doesn't need to do much with (drop off and then pick up). That way he still feels like he has some free time and is able to do what he needs to do. For my, my husband skis in the winter and I did all my work the nights he was at practice or teaching. It worked out well.
     
  19. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    May 25, 2008

    Unfortunately, I will have to take 2 classes each semester. This program does not allow the option of when to take the classes. (One of the drawbacks of dealing with a small college.) However, after further research, I may be able to take two core classes this summer to enable me to take only one class each semester next year. Thanks again for all your decision-making help. I think it's going to be a go.
     
  20. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    May 25, 2008

    I'll just add to agree with what others have said about needing family support. My dh is in a EDD (Educational Doctorate) program taking 2 masters/doctoral level classes each term and he's a 5th year high school teacher. If I was not picking up a lot of extra family work it would not be possible. You also have to be highly motivated. If you can't give yourself that kick in the butt to get everything done, you will surely fall behind on something: your own homework, grading, lesson planning, whatever. I'm holding off a year on my own Masters so that dh can be closer to done when I'm back in school. There's no way with two elementary school aged kids and me being a new teacher that we can both be take classes right now. Of course I don't have a job for the fall yet, so who knows. Maybe I will be back in school in the fall if I don't have a job.
     
  21. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Go for it -- I got mine in almost the same situation. You will surprise yourself at what you can do when the going gets tough, but the "prize" makes it worth it!
     
  22. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I did my master's in gifted ed too. It took me 2 1/2 years, my daughter was in the 11th, and 12th grade. I missed some things those years & just hated it, but in the long run it was more than worth it. In my district the step up in pay is $3600.00 a year which more than paid my tuition. If you have someone paying for it, jump on it and run. GT coordinator's positions are great jobs, you'll have a nice long easier career than a regular classroom teacher.
     

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