I want to drop out of grad school. :(

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by DrivingPigeon, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I just don't know what to do. I'm so confused. I just need to cry and talk it out, and if anyone can offer any insight, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I started working towards my masters in reading last semester. I'm in my 2nd semester of 5. I originally went back because I really wanted to be a literacy specialist. I love researching best practices in literacy, and learning more about teaching reading. However, I really have no interest in working with secondary students, or being a coach to teachers, which is also a big part of the job. I also question whether or not I want to teach forever, or do something different someday. I love teaching, but for the past few years I've been questioning my future in the profession, and wondering if the constant stress and 60+ hour work weeks are worth it. So, would it really pay for me to continue to pursue a master's degree in a field that I may not stick with forever?

    I thought that going back to get my masters would help rejuvenate me, but it's just causing so much stress. I called in sick to work twice last semester, and once this year, so that I could stay home and work on grad homework. I have so much homework to do this weekend that I could work on stuff from the time I wake up on Saturday and Sunday to the time I go to bed, and still not be done. It's causing me so much stress that I just sit and cry and don't get anything accomplished. I've been crying all morning. :( The amount of work I have to do is just crazy...!!!!!!!! I've been so busy at work that I keep falling further and further behind on my grad work. My job comes before my school work.

    I think the added stress is that I'm due with my first baby in March, and I don't know how on earth I'm going to complete my masters degree, work full time, and take care of a newborn. I can't even take care of myself right now. However, I worry that if I drop out of the program now:
    -My husband will be very upset, if he even lets me drop out, because we've invested about $5,000 in my masters so far (paid cash along the way). I have $38,000 in school loans from my undergrad, which he reminds me of daily. He reminds me what a waste it would be do switch careers while still paying for my teaching degree.
    -I don't want to be a quitter.
    -I will never go back. I'll probably have a 2nd baby in the next few years, and there is just no way I could handle that!

    So, I really don't know what to do. Part of me says, "Just push through this busy semester. You'll be fine. Your degree will open up more doors and you may really like a job in literacy." Another part of me says that the entire degree, and all of the work I'm doing, is just a huge waste of time if I'm questioning whether or not I want to stay in education. :( :dizzy:
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Such a tough decision. I made a similar decision early in my career. We has started our family and I knew they would always come first. I opted to quit the masters and obtain additional certifications through the school system over the years (free).

    Yes, your husband may be upset (he is already stressing you out by throwing your loans in your face...not nice!)

    But, ultimately, you need to do what is best for your health and the well being of your children.
     
  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I don't have too many suggestions other than to say that I can't imagine the amount of stress you are under! I went down to part-time and teaching online so I could do my MA full-time, and even with no kids, it was a lot of work! I was considering going for my PhD but decided I needed my life/weekends back.

    I'm personally not even sure if I could handle just teaching full-time and having kids myself, but that's a question for another thread...

    One thing I can say is that it's important to prioritize. It sounds bad, but I think part of earning an advanced degree is honestly to learn what you "have" to do to learn and succeed vs. what you are "supposed to do." I remember my dad telling me this about his MBA experience, and I found it true for myself in my MA. You just cannot do it all, and it's important to safeguard some time to take care of yourself first!
     
  5. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I completely understand how you feel! You have a ton on your plate. But, it seems you really do not want to do the type of career that this degree would involve, so I say end now if that's what you truly want & don't wait another term or pay another tuition fee because that's more time & $...better to have put out $5000 than $8000+. And your husband should support you in whatever you decide.

    Here's a quick summary of my situation: I've been in school pretty much my ENTIRE life & I mean that literally, except for 5-6 yrs in total & 2 of those yrs are even counting the 1st couple yrs of life before anyone starts pre-school at age 3. So I got an MA already, fine. I'm now towards the end of working on my 2nd Masters, but I've been so burnt out from school for I'd say the last several mos. I'm in a 3-yr program & ran into a hurdle, so I should have graduated this past summer, 2014, but now it won't be until next summer (I hope!) So, I'm even more disinterested. Plus, I started this grad program AND a new job working 4 days a week, within just months of ea other, so I've had to hit the ground running to learn what I needed to for the job, yet I'm still learning what I need to for the job in school. The 1st 2 yrs of grad school for me were very hairy, intense, hectic, burning the midnight oil all the time, etc. :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

    However, I'd be a fool to quit now (or even a yr ago) because I'm over halfway done w/ my program & I put WAY too much time, energy, money, etc. into it to quit now. What I really wish I could do right now is throw all my textbooks & papers out the window!

    PM me if you want to talk more/vent because I DO know how you feel & you'll have a baby now too, so that's a lot. I don't have kids myself.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    It is difficult, but think about the future. How will it change your earnings over an entire career?

    We have to have a masters, so there was no getting around it. I did mine early in my career. ( We have 10 years to do it, being halfway finished in 5 years. )

    Mine cost me $3250 in 1995. It's earned me an additional $60,000. It also allows me to earn extra money by having student teachers and interns.
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I don't really have any advice, but just wanted to say that it's really not cool of your husband to remind you of your student loans every day. My husband has a big student loan debt from undergrad and seminary. I know he feels guilty about bringing that into our marriage and worries about paying that off. I would never dream of mentioning this constantly. You might want to have a talk with him if this bothers you.
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Double like, amakaye.

    When he married you, he married the debt too. That makes it "ours", not "his" or "hers".
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    If I had a husband who kept reminding me of loans every single day & rubbing it in my face, I'd almost be cussing him out & saying, "I'm here trying to better myself FOR BOTH OF US & busting my butt...maybe you'd better start doing more around here too buster, like more housework, chores, etc!" :mad: IF he doesn't do those things as much as he should.
     
  10. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Instead of quitting, can you maybe just take fewer courses a semester? Can you do some of the classes online?
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I'm doing grad school one or two classes at a time. It's been really nice taking a mix of online and in person classes.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I have no say in how I do my completely online (& equally as rigorous if not more than B&M) program. My classmates & I all move at the same pace...2 classes at a time, but each class is of varying weeks in length.
     
  13. YoungTeacherGuy

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    I took the scenic route in terms of getting my graduate studies completed. I went to school for three semesters, took a year off, and continued where I left off. I have no regrets about taking time off; it was much needed.

    I do know, however, that my ultimate goal was to become a school administrator. I accomplished what I set out to do and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

    The only thing I (sort of) regret is that I didn't teach for a longer period of time. Believe it or not, I wish I would've spent a year or two as a kindergarten teacher.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    This is an excellent suggestion. I don't think I could have done my M.Ed. any other way than online, one class every seven weeks.
     
  15. MsMar

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    If you cannot slow down the pace of the classes then I think dropping out is what sounds best for you. The stress you are feeling is not good. And as far as the $5000 you've spent, try to think of it as a "sunk cost" and move on. Putting more money, time, and tons of stress in just doesn't seem like the right choice right now. You're not losing the credits you've earned, they will always be there. Take a break, see about doing one class at a time, and allow yourself a moment to breathe.

    Sorry you're having such a hard time.
     
  16. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Oct 31, 2014

    Huge hugs!

    My life philosophy at the moment is life is too short to not be a bit selfish with my time. I have always been someone to sink tons of time into the classroom after school and on weekends. Not this year. I'm using my evenings to work on my own projects. If I were in your situation, I'd cut my losses and spend the time on yourself and your family. You will realize when you have the little one that you have very little time with them in the evenings and on the weekend. You really have to spend it with them. Dh was the one who told me to stop bringing things home-at first I resented it, but now I'm really grateful. Henry is growing SO fast, and he only gets a few hours a night with us. You are going to stress even more about the schoolwork with the little one. If it's not something you are super passionate and driven about, something you are doing for fun for yourself, I would cut your losses now. ;)
     
  17. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oct 31, 2014

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, everyone. I really appreciate it.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the option to take classes online. They offer the classes one certain semester and day/time only. For example, Reading 735 is only offered in the fall on Tuesday nights from 5-8. Some are in-person only, some are online, and most are hybrid.

    It's too late to drop for this semester, so I would lose out on $2,600. I'll just have to tough it out and figure out what I'm going to do for the next year. I have 7 years to finish the program, so maybe I'll just cut back to 1 class per semester, and take my time. I think that 1 class would be manageable. There's just that ongoing thought of "Do I even want to do this?" :(
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Pigeon, you may also be overwhelmed with the changes and mood shifts of pregnancy, so I think trying to get through the semester sounds reasonable. One course a semester will get you done in time, and you might actually enjoy the class in the summer while on maternity leave. I live by the previously stated fact that the credits don't evaporate, and seven years is at least 14 semesters, more if you add summers, and most masters can be completed in less than 14 courses, so stress less, and find a way to work with what you have before you. You may find that you are stressing if you are a type A, things have to be just this way kind of personality. Give yourself permission to do just enough to pass the class, at times, and let the GPA take care of itself. I can assure you that it is the final product that HR will see, and your GPA will not be on that diploma.

    Only you can decide if this degree has meaning for you. Your posts indicate that you see yourself with one foot out the door already, and you need permission to take the other foot with it. Education is seldom wasted, since many jobs would give you a pay boost for a masters even if it was in teaching. Most districts have pay bumps at every additional 15 graduate credits, more or less, so there is some more immediate compensation in your future, to make the study worthwhile. There are so many different masters out there - how did you end up with one that turns you off? Just curious, not critical. Perhaps there is a different path you could take that would be more exciting and invigorating, that would utilize all or most of the courses taken to date. I am much older than you, and I married and left a masters with only 6 credits to go. I married and moved out of state. Those credits did help me move up the pay scale when I started teaching, but I jumped at the chance to earn my masters in ESL, and did, one course a semester, this past August. I know that I may never get to teach ESL, but the experience put to rest a regret I had carried for years, and it has resulted in a nice annual pay raise that will continue for as long as I teach, so for me it was worth the effort.

    Pregnancy hormones can have you all over the place, so please take that into consideration before doing anything rash. Good luck.
     
  19. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I completed my first master's degree when my kids were in elementary school. I took 1 or 2 classes each semester and maybe another during the summer. I remember getting up early on Saturdays to do my work.

    I did my 2nd when my youngest was in high school. It was a co-hort program. We did 1 class every 8 weeks. It was tough. All I did was work & school. We managed though.

    My 2nd is in Literacy. I'm qualified as a Reading Specialist to teach K-12. That doesn't mean I'm going to do it. I'd have to think long & hard about teaching high school. I will say, that when I have the older kids in small groups they're okay. Just don't give me more then 4 of them at a time!

    Only you can make the decisions you need to make.
     
  20. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    That's great that w/ all your other obligations, you were able to get 2 Masters', I commend you! I'm working on my 2nd one as well as being busy w/ other things too! One sentence of yours struck me though when you said, "That doesn't mean I'm going to do it."

    Well, as we both know, getting a Masters is a TON of hard work, dedication, time, money, numerous weekends spent doing the work, etc. to "maybe use it or maybe not". Sure, it's always nice to have more education, but we're not just talking about taking a summer class in knitting here! :) So if Pigeon doesn't even like the jobs that will result in getting the degree, that's something to strongly consider or lean toward not going through with.
     
  21. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Could you also look at transferring your credits to another school/program that has a better schedule for you? I'm doing my masters online and I take one 5 week class at a time. I love that I only have to deal with one class at a time and I'm done in 5 weeks! My teammate is going to a traditional on campus program and her classes are 16 weeks long, for the same amount of credit! I've taken one or two classes that have been more work than others, but honestly most of the time it's not that much work. In a typical week I would say I spend about 3-4 hours on grad school stuff. From what I hear from friends, on campus programs sound like a lot more work.
     
  22. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I was on the verge of a breakdown this time last year. I was teaching for the fist time, had to move away from my wife for 6 months while she found a job near me, and I was doing my masters. I actually failed both classes I was in because I was so bad off mentally at the time. I felt like a failure(I had a 4.0 undergrad) and I just couldn't take it.

    I almost dropped out but then I decided to try again in the spring and it went much better. My wife moved in with me, but I had to coach baseball so I actually had almost no free time. Despite being busy/exhausted I was in a better place mentally and able to manage it. Don't get discouraged, your not the only one who has struggled with this but it is possible to overcome. By the way I'v made all A's since then(4 classes, not counting the 2 I'm taking now) and my GPA went back up for the most part. Don't stress if you can avoid it!
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oh my. Consider that the OPs husband is stressed over the debt, responsibility of new baby, uncertain economic climate. Escalating the problem by cussing and harping about housework isn't productive. Finding time to talk, set goals and share concerns with maturity, intimacy and honesty as a couple ,however, is. :2cents:

    Pigeon...you've got a lot on your plate. At this point you should finish this semester and then consider taking just one or two classes at a time once your sweet baby arrives. Also, take some 'couple time' with your dh...even if it's out for coffee or a walk around the block, the two of you NEED alone time before baby comes....I promise, making that time and making it a priority will help both of you face the stress and challenges you have in a more positive way knowing that you are both committed to doing what's best for your growing family...congrats!
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I understand that Pigeon has a lot of stress in her job, pregnancy, school, and family life right now, but that is absolutely no reason for any husband to treat his wife that way. I'm sorry, that is abuse. I think that just adds to Pigeon's stress and uncertainty over her decision.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Abuse is a strong word. :2cents: we aren't in this relationship. We don't know their finances or other stresses...a confrontation that involves cursing and labeling behavior as abuse probably aren't the best advice.:2cents:
     
  26. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Agreed. It doesn't sound healthy and is adding to her stress.

    OP, whatever decision you make I hope you feel better asap! :hugs:
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yep, oh my, & him constantly reminding her isn't productive either so he needs to get off her back about it. And if he can't take her being angry at him, then he can dish it out, but can't take it.


    You got that right!
     
  28. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Thanks! :)

    He is a little crazy about money, and it stresses him out a lot (not just because the baby is on the way). We're in a good place financially, but I just hate the constant reminders about my student loan debt.

    I'm doing better after working on grad school stuff for 2 days straight. One assignment took me about 6 hours, and I still have a lot more to do by this Friday. It's crazy what they expect you to do when you're working full-time already!
     
  29. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Glad your mind set is a little clearer. What is the project?
     
  30. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I'm taking a class where we're required to set up our portfolio. We have to add to the portfolio throughout our time in the program. We have 5 activities to complete this semester, and each requires a reflection. I have 2 of them finished, and the other 3 are due next Tuesday. I spent a lot of time this weekend setting up my online portfolio, and I finally found a format that I think will work.

    I also have 2 chapters of a textbook to read by Tuesday. I have to write summaries and a reflection. The book is just horrible...So long and boring!

    I have to read a chapter in another book, and write a summary/reflection by Friday.
     
  31. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 3, 2014

    A professor once told the class that you are not to read a textbook word for word. She is a Literacy professor & we were grad students. Read the title of the chapter, skim the headings and then read the first sentence or 2 under the headings. I also found that reading the final paragraph in each sentence helps. If you need to then you can go back & read each section more carefully.

    I had a really hard time doing that. But it did cut done on how much I had to read, especially when I was in a time/paper crunch.
     
  32. Ms. I

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    Great advice/reminder! I think I recall hearing that too back in the day of earlier college years, even though I've never actually done it. It would feel like I'm missing too much of the info, but I need to try it THIS week! I have 10 chapters to read by this Fri., Nov. 7th...I don't think I've ever been in such a time crunch like this before! :dizzy: But if the material's extremely, extremely difficult, I don't know about this advice. More would have to be read! :)
     
  33. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    DP, I am so sorry you have so much going on right now! I can´t imagine the stress (honestly, just thinking about everything you have going on is stressing me a bit!). I think you should do what you feel is emotionally/mentally right for you. Perhaps what you wanted before is different than what you want now. You´ve invested money, yes, but in the realm of life, happiness and health, you really have to weigh the most important factors. I wish you the best of luck in your decision, whatever it may be.
     
  34. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Feb 24, 2015

    Well, almost 3 months later, I have an update!

    I stuck the semester out, and did well in all of my classes. I decided to take just one class at a time, which means I would have 3 more years before I graduate.

    Class started up on February 2nd, and I began having second (and third, and fourth...) thoughts about the degree in general. I'm just not excited about the idea of a reading masters. I feel like I may not even want to teach forever. I spoke to my husband tonight about dropping out, and he was supportive. He said that I need to do what I feel is best, and he'll support me.

    Right now I'm looking up information on how to drop the one class I'm taking. I feel incredibly guilty, because I'm tutoring two students as part of this class, so someone else is going to have to take them on. :( However, I can't continue when my heart isn't in it just because I feel guilty.

    On a happy note, baby is due any day now! :)
     
  35. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 24, 2015

    Good for you DP. Life is too short to do something you're not wholeheartedly into.
     
  36. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Feb 24, 2015

    I think you have spent a long time thinking about this, giving you time to really figure out what you want, and what's best for you and your family. Once you make your final decision, I bet you will feel pleased! :) At the end of the day, you need to do what makes you happy. Also, when will it hurt more? Realizing this now, or later?
     

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