How many of you waited to get your master's first?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by AKGrant, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. AKGrant

    AKGrant Rookie

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    I am in my last year of college and was all looking forward to getting a job right off the bat. Just an FYI...my husband is also in his last year of college for teaching too. Anyways, his mom made a comment to us yesterday that we should get our master's first (not teach our first year, just sub) while our financial aid was still good. that way by not teaching, our income would still be low enough to qualify for financial aid our second year of our master's program as well. But that would mean for another 2 years both my husband and I would still have lousy insurance, lousy pay, yadayada. Just curious what some of you professionals thought about this?

    I mean yes getting my master's would be lovly, but also getting a decent paycheck instead of scraping by would be nice. What did some of you do? And for those of you who taught right away, did you wish you would have gotten your master's first?
     
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  3. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    I did not wait, and actually, I am grateful for the experience I have been able to gain. I am maybe starting my Master's this January (or perhaps a little later in 2009). The experience I have gained has certainly opened my eyes to how well I can do in earning my Master's.
     
  4. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    I'm waiting as well. I just graduated May 07 and got hired where I'm at now for the 07-08 school year. In my case I was getting married fall 07 so starting up my masters would have been a headache, plus I just needed a rest from school. I busted my bum for 5 years with my BA and two minors, keeping a 4.0 for about 3/12 years of it! lol I also knew being art ed, that it may be harder to find the job b/c they'd have to pay me more. I was looking to get a couple of years in, pass my praxis III and then go get my masters. I'm still trying to decide what to get it in. Part of me wants to do Curriculum and Teaching, another wants to just double wammy myself in Art Ed. I've always wanted my masters in art history but can't b/c I don't have the language undergrads and I'm horrible about learning languages and you basically need to know at least French, Italian and Latin. lol Now I'm wondering if I want to do Special Ed? I knew exactly what I wanted to do in my undergrad, now I'm at a crossroads of decisions! :)
     
  5. AKGrant

    AKGrant Rookie

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    I completly understand crossroads. I really want to teach english, but I'm so far into my degree as an elementary teacher. I'm wondering if maybe I should just teach elem ed. a few years and then try to get my masters in english...hmmmm,lol, life decisions
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I was told not to get my masters until I was at a school I really liked. Earning a masters degree moves you up the payscale and can "price you out" of a job. I have waited and I'm at the point when I think I'm ready to get that degree. I think getting experience will make me more marketable as a teacher than if I simply had the education degrees alone. That said, some fields in education obviously need a higher degree if you want to find a job. Some of those might be special education, working in an alternative school or with troubled youth, higher lever math and science, and possibly teaching foreign languages or working with ELL students. You will need to research your own situation, but if you are a general education major than I suggest experience before an advanced degree.
     
  7. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I agree with waiting until you have taught for a while. I waited until I had tenure, just so I didn't have to worry about school and classwork. I am starting mine next week :) I still qualify for the max in subsidized loans. That is all you can get for grad school I think (sub and unsub loans) unless you have a work study or something else.
     
  8. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    I waited to get my masters & do not regret it. I had tenure & a half day kindergarten teaching position. I also had 2 babies while working on my masters degree. I was able to get better grades in the masters program of because of my experience teaching & maturity.

    My daughter just graduated from college & made the decision to start teaching first. Some school districts help pay for some classes.:)

    Good luck
     
  9. Kangaroo22

    Kangaroo22 Virtuoso

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    I graduated with my BS in May 2007 and immediately started working on masters degree and graduated with that this May. I was glad that I did it this way, I'm now paid higher than I would have been and it was easier to focus on my class work. I also had a graduate assistantship that paid for my degree, so if you are going to go right for your masters that might be something to look into. Good luck with your decision!
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I didn't plan on waiting, it just worked out that way for me. I subbed all while working on 2 credentials & my MA. But, then I'm single without kids. If you & your husband can afford to do this, go ahead or if one of you really needs to start working, both of you can apply for teaching jobs & whoever gets hired 1st, the other person will work on the Masters.
     
  11. Erin Elizabeth

    Erin Elizabeth Groupie

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    I just started my 3rd year teaching and also just started my master's. However, one of the requirements of my program was 2 years of teaching experience.

    I would think about what area you want a master's degree in. You may not know until you've taught for a few years. I thought I wanted to get a MA is literacy, but changed my mind to C&I.
     
  12. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    I taught for a year or two before starting my masters. Having the paycheck helped and I worked in a school that gave a discount for my masters (the pay at the school was awful, but having the tution discount was a perk!)!

    The good thing about teaching while getting your masters is that you can apply what you are learning in class right away. You can also use classroom materials and lessons for your classes! Many times I was able to get two birds with one stone.

    Good luck!
     
  13. Grace

    Grace Companion

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    I only waited a semester before beginning my masters. I'm teaching full time, and doing school part time, and it's working well so far :)
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Getting your masters before teaching makes you expensive to hire... You'd be expensive with no experience...could be trouble with finding a job. Get your resume out there- if you get a job offer, take it! Many districts have some kind of tuition reimbursement so that would help you with paying for your masters once you have a job.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Didn't you also say in another post that you and your husband are planning on having a child? IMO, that is a lot to take on at one time: first job, masters, child. I know women that have done it, but it is something to consider.
     
  16. kinderkidz

    kinderkidz Rookie

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    I am waiting to get my masters. My current school system will actually pay for all my masters degree after I teach for three years. I also wanted to teach for a while to see what i really wanted to get a masters in.
     
  17. teachin4ever

    teachin4ever Cohort

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    I'm also waiting. This is my first year teaching, so once I get through this year, I'm going to begin taking classes towards my masters. I absolutely do not regret waiting. After being in college for so long, it was nice to "take a break" and focus on subbing and using the tools I learned in college. All the teachers I talked to told me to wait and get my masters after I've taught for a bit.
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    It was highly suggested to me to wait until I was employed as a teacher before going for that grad degree. My school has a tuition reimbursement for continuing education and is excited that I'm considering a Special Education degree, so I'm glad to have waited.
     
  19. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I got my master's first and don't regret it. It automatically put me in a higher pay scale. I have no/little complaints about my salary. Teachers with just a BA start LOW around here, and I was already making that much at my part time job I had while I worked through school.
     
  20. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    My district pays an additional $1000/annually for a master's and then $2000 more for a Ph.D. There's no tuition reimbursement either. Most master programs I've heard about (including my own) require lots of work in the classroom in order to compete special "projects" but one can accomplish that through volunteering at a school. I took a leave of absence for 2 years to complete my Ph.D. only because I wanted it finished. I received no benefits, etc. only the promise (in writing) that my time with the district wouldn't start over and that I had a job when I finished.
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And because you are 'automatically at a higher pay scale', some distirct won't hire you...they'd rather hire a teacher who comes in at a lower pay scale (you'd both have no experience...) You're lucky, Froggy!! As was I- I got hired with my masters but it's often the case that a distirct will consider the pay differential when considering candidates...just something to think about...
     
  22. MissNikki

    MissNikki Comrade

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    I was advised by my college to wait until I was in a comfortable teaching position. Your district might reimburse you a percentage or all of your tuition for your courses. Most do. Then you can enjoy that and the pay increases as time passes.

    Besides, districts with little $ might be less likely to hire someone with a Master's degree because they have to pay them more.
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I started my masters during the spring semester of my second teaching year. (I was a full-time sub the first year, so I started during my first year of having my own classroom.)

    In Kentucky you have to be halfway through your masters program within 5 years, and then finish the degree within 10 years or you lose your certification.

    To me, it made sense to go ahead and get it and be finished with it. I was teaching high school at the time, so most teachers chose a subject area masters, administration, or guidance. I chose the subject area one.

    I started in the spring semester and finished in two calendar years. I was taking classes on campus. Online classes weren't available at the time.

    At the time I got mine, the classes were around $325 each. I got a $3000 per year raise upon completion, so I my degree almost paid for itself the first year. And since then, my degree has earned me an additional $36,000.

    I'm working on getting my second masters FREE. I earned six hours taking part in a grant-funded program that paid for my two classes and gave me an $800 stipend. Last year I earned three free classes by being a mentor for a new teacher and by having a student teacher.
     
  24. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I'm in S. CA & I see you're in N. CA. I hope this rule doesn't become statewide, not that it matters to me personally anymore because I already have my MA. In all of my grad classes, I was usually 1 of 2 people, if not the only one who was still a sub & not a teacher at the time, but it didn't affect how I did in my classes whatsoever.

    Same here. I certainly don't regret it at all. I was hired the summer I graduated w/ my MA as an RSP teacher & for a 1st year teacher, my salary was great! I wish I could find some statewide & national stats on the # of districts who'd prefer teaching experience as opposed to zero experience, but the person has an MA & those w/ a BA, but at least a few yrs of teaching exp.
     
  25. flesteach

    flesteach Rookie

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    In my opinion, you get more out of the degree when you have experience. You are able to apply it to real world situations. Sometimes just reading about something in a textbook is not enough. I started my Masters and my first year teaching at the same time. Yes, it is extremely time consuming and difficult, but I felt that what I was learning in class was really beneficial to what I was doing at work.
     
  26. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I didn't have a choice. I had to go to work right away. Then there were my kids I had to take care of. I waited 10 years to start on my Master's, but I just couldn't do it any other way. I don't have any regrets either. Kids grow up way to fast and I can look back and say I thoroughly enjoyed them.
     
  27. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I think in NY your initial certificate expires in 5 years if you don't get a masters, so I plan on heading right in. I hope to start a family someday so with that time limit I want to make sure to get my schooling out of the way first. I will be taking classes in the evenings, so I hope to get some experience while still in school -- perhaps a paid internship or something.
     
  28. alilisa

    alilisa Habitué

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    I waited and had taught for over 10 years before going for my master's. Most districts in my state will not look at you if you have your master's because you are too expensive as a new hire! While going through my master's I was glad I waited, because I could draw on my experiences. I was still able to get loans for my master's and if you teach in a low-income school you can get up to $5000 forgiven (17,000 for sp. ed, science, math).
     

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