Is it ridiculous..

Discussion in 'General Education' started by soleil00, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    to try to go after my Master's during my first year of teaching? It is a 100% online Master's program through my alma mater, but my mother thinks that I am being stupid for wanting to go ahead and start working on it now. The teachers I work with just give me these "whatever" looks when I ask them; none of them have a Master's so I guess that's why they don't care.... but I don't know.

    I am not planning on doing anything until Spring semester at the earliest, so I think my stress levels should have lowered by then, but is it kind of crazy for me to be doing it this early on?

    With this Master's program though, I can take 1 class or 4 a semester... there is no minimum or what not so that's why I wanted to get a jump start and maybe take 1 or 2 in the Spring and then load up in the Summer.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Taking one class to start in the spring could be manageable.:)
     
  4. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    I started my Masters in my second year, and I don't regret it. Was it a lot of work at times? Sure. But for both the pay increase, and the increase in my own knowledge and skills, it was worth it.

    There are teachers in my building who have taught 30 years and never obtained anything above a BA. They gave me similar comments, telling me "you can have a great career without all that extra work". Screw 'em. I enjoy taking classes, and I think I'm a more effective teacher because of it.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    It is not something I would have wanted to do during my first year. I found the first year to be terribly consuming and exhausting.
     
  6. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Thanks Ron6103! Now I don't feel so much like I'm jumping into a shark-tank head first or something, because that's exactly how my colleagues are acting towards me. I just don't understand that mentality... I'm not even doing it for more money, though that is a huuuge benefit!


    I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't certifiably insane for wanting to do this so badly not even 3 months out of college LOL My family sure thinks I am....



    This is just a huge decision that I have until November to make, because that's when my application is due. We'll see how exhausted I am by then!
     
  7. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Well, I may be certifiably insane, so that's something to consider. But I really do think one class at a time is do-able. Just don't expect to have weekends anymore.

    My teaching life was so busy that during the school week, I didn't really have time to do much graduate work. So I saved all of it for the weekends. It was stressful, but acceptable for me.
     
  8. Elm512

    Elm512 Companion

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    I just finished my first year, and it was very successful! I attended school FT for my M.Ed throughout. I also have an 8 year old, 5 year old, husband, and 2 needy dogs. Piece of cake ;) LOL! So I say GO FOR IT!!
     
  9. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    You're not in a testing grade so I think the spring semester is definitely do-able. Good luck!
     
  10. Andrea L

    Andrea L Habitué

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    I think you should be fine with one class! It'll be a little extra work for you, but I believe it's easier to go back sooner, than later! Plus, it'll give you something to do during the summer. I always get bored after a few weeks because I need to be busy during summer!
     
  11. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I started teaching in August and took four classes that same semester...two the first bi-term and two the second (I believe that is accurate) and a few more the second semester. I don't at all regret it since I was able to get my master's and Rank I in the first three years of teaching. I didn't have children and my husband was working a lot, so those were two things were in my favor.
     
  12. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I took two classes each semester during my first year. It was a lot of work, but I didn't have a family.
     
  13. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I definitely wouldn't want that added stress during the first year- it's stressful enough. Can you possibly see how you feel up to christmas break and then decide if you want to start in spring semester? What is your hurry with wanting to get it?

    For me, I'd like to go back to school at some point just to get new ideas and things like that, but it just doesn't make financial sense in my current district. They only pay a very small stipend each year to teachers who have masters degrees, and I could see that going away altogether with budget cuts. It would literally take me about 15 years of teaching in my current district to even pay off the cost of getting the masters in the first place- so 15 years later I would just be breaking even. That's assuming the stipend amount stays the same.
     
  14. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    I think it depends on your stress levels and how much you can handle during crunch and grind time. If you know you are a person who can handle it and get little sleep and still function go for it.

    Some people can really juggle and prioritize. You know yourself best. Go with your gut... but like everyone else, 1 class shouldnt hurt to much.
     
  15. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    I've wanted to do it for about a year now, but of course had to wait until I graduated with my Bachelors and I think I can handle it if I do the bare minimum.

    My district pays $2k - $5k on top of salary, which is there every year along with the salary increases for experience. So for example, if I make say $40k my first year, I'll make $43k my 2nd year, add $2-3k for every year experience. ADD the $2k-$5k on top of that for having a Masters, so it's really a good deal in my district I think. If that makes sense to anyone but me... lol!



    I think I will try though, one class is not going to kill me. Most of the classes don't have exams (they are project based) so that's no issue... and if I find it to be too much I can always stop and take a break. There's no big deal with taking a break from it. I may take the one course in Spring and decide no way, and start doing only summer classes from there on!

    Thanks for all the votes of confidence though guys! :lol:
     
  16. miss tree

    miss tree Rookie

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    I did some online classes in my third year of teaching and found it to be very worthwhile, but I would caution against jumping into further study in your first year. You are going to have a lot on your plate and really don't need further stress. Everyone is different however and it ultimately depends on how organised and motivated you are.
     
  17. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    I started grad school my first year=disaster.
    My grades weren't up to par (I didn't fail, but received some C's, a big no-no in grad school). My job alone was more than enough stress, but I thought I could take on the world smh. I would go to work, leave work, sit in an hour traffic to get to campus, sit in class for 2 hours, come home, do homework, and be in bed if I was lucky by 1am. Talk about a burnout.
    I took this past year off and I am going back this fall, and with this being my 3rd year and with my new school 10 min away from campus, I am looking forward to a more successful attempt at this than the last time.
     
  18. CHI

    CHI Rookie

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    I come from a family full of teachers who encouraged me to get my masters and specilaist over with as soon as possible and to not wait. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to not go through with it was what they told me. So, I started my masters (which was online) during my first year of teaching. I was stressed at times but I am glad I went ahead and did it. Be prepared to not have a life for a few years BUT know that it will all be worth it in the long run. I kept a calendar of all assignments due with me at all times so that I could plan accordingly. I would work on some assignments during lunch but mostly I saved the work until the weekends. After getting my masters I went ahead and did my specialist too. I was already in the mind frame of school work so I figured I'd go ahead and get it over with. Initially, I obtained my masters and specialist because I liked the pay increase but, as a new teacher I learned ALOT from the veteran teachers who were in my online classes. So, I say go for it! Don't worry about what the other teachers in your building say, go with what you want to do. When you get stressed, just thinnk about the awesome pay increase you will get when you are done. Good luck!
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't think it's ridiculous.

    Personally, I waited until my first summer, after a year of teaching. As you know, that first year is busy, and it takes a lot of time to figure out what you're doing. I wouldn't have wanted to put Master's classes on top of it. There's a whole lot to learn if you hope to be a GOOD teacher--stuident teaching only shows you the very tip of the iceberg.

    But if you think you can handle it, go for it.
     
  20. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I started in the spring of my first year. My thinking was - if I made teaching all day and then going to class the norm, it wouldn't be that stressful. I don't regret it at all. I actually ended up being in a class with a higher up in my building and so I did a lot of networking. It was a good experience.

    The class I took was only one night a week, and then I also devoted one night of work to the class, but it really wasn't that difficult to me. In fact, I found a lot of my master's work to be relevant to my teaching - in many cases I could tailor the assignments to suit what I was doing in my classroom, especially in my curriculum and instruction courses.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If that's where the bar would have to be set, wouldn't it be better waiting until summer?
     
  22. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I guess my situation was a little different because my school honored my masters degree in another field on the salary schedule.

    I'm mentoring a new teacher this year. I just had a conversation with her about trying to make herself as irreplaceable as possible. Meaning, be involved in the school beyond the classroom. As a first year teacher, all eyes are watching. If you leave right behind the students at the end of the day every day, it is noticed. If you never go to a football game, it is noticed. If you never volunteer for an after school activity, it is noticed.

    So, even though I'm in the minority here, I would make my first year of teaching all about my students, my classroom and my school.

    I'm in my 7th year, I started my second masters last year ... doing the bare minimum is not compatible with my personality. It is doable, but I miss out on sleep and weekends every week.
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    ku, I think you'll be an excellent mentor-- that's incredibly good advice!!!!
     
  24. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aw, thanks, Alice! :)
     
  25. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Kevin, I completely agree. That is another point that the OP should certainly consider. To be blunt, you don't want the school district and community to think that you're money hungry and only interested in yourself by going after your masters and having no time for anything else.

    My two cents on the matter: I waited until my third year to go after my masters. I have now finished it, along with my NBCT stuff (will hear in Dec how I did). Even in my third year, the masters was difficult. I simply cannot imagine doing it in my first year...at that point, I was busy building relationships with teachers, the community, planning, and all that other stuff. I would strongly caution against doing it, OP! You sound incredibly ambitious and bright, and that is great! BUT...please do consider all aspects of the situation, which I'm sure you're doing. Best of luck to you!
     
  26. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I agree that with one class you should be okay. I would not do more than that. I did take a year off before finishing my master's simply because it was too much for me (I had a lot of other things going on too, so I just couldn't handle one more thing) to do at the time.
     
  27. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I read the "bare minimum" to mean taking one class rather than four. If that's the case, then it's a reasonable way to balance starting graduate school against the demands of teaching the first year.

    That said, I think there's a flaw in the reasoning here. In the OP, the idea was to start in spring, presumably because by then the stresses of the first year will have ironed out.

    For me, the opposite was true. By early spring, you're tired. TIRED. And the work is the same, but the kids are also tired, plus the seasons are changing, everyone's sick, and you have the remaining months of school to get through. Spring is hard. As a first year teacher, you may be laid off in spring. You may have to participate in a self-evaluation process in spring. You only have to read this board in spring to see lots of threads about burnout, exhaustion, and frustration.
     
  28. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Thank you all, wonderful advice from both sides of the spectrum.

    I'm going to give it definite thought as I have 4 months until the application deadline anyway, so at least I will have a fairly decent grasp on how stressful this first year is going to be.

    I very well may end up waiting until Summer to start, but it all depends on how I feel in November! If I'm dying by Thanksgiving then there is no way I am going for it right now! :)
     
  29. MissTeach22

    MissTeach22 Companion

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    I did it my first year of teaching! My first day of MEd classes (I took 2, also online) was also the first day of school! Yes, I was busy - but less than 2 years later now I am done! :)
     
  30. Rox

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    I finished the 2nd year of my MA (including my thesis!) during my first year of teaching. It was rough, but I made sure to keep the two separate. I only worked on teaching stuff at work, and worked on stuff for classes at home. I did as much as I could before the school year started.
     
  31. 5leafclover

    5leafclover Companion

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    I taught K my first year and often had nights where I was still working at 7:00pm. A lot factors will affect how easy taking classes will be. Will you have a para? Do you have a social life?

    I would honestly suggest just waiting to start your M.Ed in your 2nd or 3rd year. I'm glad I did. Why not revel in all your new experiences and focus on being the best teacher you can be? You'll be surprised how much easier your 3rd year is than your first.
     
  32. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    I got my master's during my first year of teaching. I had no kids, so that made it easier, but it was still a ton of work. Looking back, I'm so glad I went for it and got it done while I was still young(er) and in school mode. I was lucky that pretty much all my assignments were geared to be directly connected to what I was doing in my classroom, so even though the work load was heavy, it served double duty as planning time for my classes.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  33. Joy

    Joy Cohort

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    I'm sure you will be busy but I think that doing it close to when you finished college will help you because you are still used to doing homework and studying.
     

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