Master's Degree Advice

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Weazy, Jul 24, 2007.

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  1. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I have been researching the Master's Degree programs offered at various schools. There is one in particular I am interested in and the focus is on classroom teaching. I have talked to another teacher and she says she uses everything she learned. The program sounds very interesting to me. It is also an online program, which I also want. Anyway, a friend of mine who teaches at the college level (master's not ph.d) keeps telling me that I will be bored with teaching in 9 or 10 years and I should consider something like, Library Science. She says I will want other opportunities later on. She taught H.S. for 20 years before moving on to college.

    I have only taught one year and I will probably get 20 years in max. I absolutely loved my first year!! My mentor has been teaching for 23 years and says she still looks forward to each year; she hasn't tired of it. If I love teaching as much as I did my first year, I have nothing to worry about, but when I talk to my friend, she makes me feel like I'm taking the easy way out. That the program I'm looking at isn't broadening my horizons.

    What kinds of Master's programs have any of you completed, and how many veterans still love their job as much as when they first started? As for me, I'm looking forward to the first day of school!
     
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  3. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I personally would do what makes YOU happy...just because someone else doesn't think you will like teaching in 9 or 10 years doesn't mean thats true. My dad lasted in the same district for 35 years. He would've kept going for the kids, but politics in the school made him retire.

    Personally, I am in a masters degree program. I am doing the elementary education program with a leadership concentration, which will give me my elementary supervisor's certificate as well as my degree. I graduate in May! Then I am going to take 3 more classes to get my principal's certificate...don't know if I'll ever use it, but it moves me closer to the next column in the salary guide and I may just use it someday! :)

    PS- I'm going into my 5th year of teaching and I still love it!
     
  4. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Congrats!! I wish I was the close to finishing my master's. I am required to have it completed by then end of my 5 year license. Of course, it won't take that long, but I don't want to wait three years to begin either. I am very interested in the one particular program. No, I will not become a master professor with it, but I don't want to be. I do not not want to go into admin., although I commend those of you who do. What a tough job! So far (1 year :blush: ) I am just happy being in the classroom. I love working with the kids, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I'm proud of it.
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    M.A. Education

    I am going for my M.A. in Education. My area is Individualized Studies. I just got in on the tail end of the program, as they canceled it last year. I did not want to repeat the Early Childhood program I had in undergrad studies, so I went for individualized program.

    My goal is to earn a degree in education, because my B.A. is in liberal arts. I have been going about this in a backwards fashion for years. First, I just wanted to finish college. Then, I learned I could get a liberal arts degree and take anything. I started working as a teacher's aide. So I decided to take education, because most of my previous credits would be worthless if I went directly into the school of education!

    As I started taking teaching jobs, I would get messed around with the $$ because they said I did not have a degree in education. So that I when I decided to go back.

    The other thing I learned is that you can teach college once you have a masters degree. So it actually covers me in several areas. I have not completed 4 solid years of teaching, so I don't have my standard teaching certificate. This means I must keep a position with 'teacher' in the title. But I am 48, and probably don't want to spend the next 20 years sitting on the floor with my 3-5 year olds. I am more comfortable in an administrative position, but not as a director, per se.

    I have a good balance as Master Pre-K, because I supervise teachers and do assessments on children. If I could just get away from high risk, low income areas, and violent co-workers, I would be okay. My goal is to work until I am 55-60, and then become a part time faculty member in a college. Then, I may do some consulting on the side. I have taught kdg, 2nd and 3rd, but really don't want higher grades. So that is my life story!
     
  6. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    You SHOULD be proud! Teaching is not an easy job...its very demanding but also probably the most rewarding out there:)

    I definitely don't see myself leaving the classroom anytime soon...I love working with the kids too much!

    I started my masters degree program when I went into my 3rd year of teaching.
     
  7. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I love teaching, but I'm still working towards my masters in educational leadership. In my district, you can't really hope to ever move on to any kind of leadership position without it. Principals want to work with other "principals." They want to know you can see things from their perspectives. That's the philosophy of my district, anyway.
     
  8. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    My degree would also be a M.A. in Education. I teach H.S. which is quite different from the 3-5 yr. olds you teach. I can't keep up with my 4 yr. old niece--an entire room of pre-schoolers would kill me.

    I am 43 and just started teaching. Twenty years sounds like a long time to those younger than me, but I realize just how fast it will go. I'm sure I will have trying days in the classroom, but if I get bored, won't it be MY fault? Isn't it in my power to change things up? My mentor says this is how she keeps things fresh and new for herself. She is always changing lesson plans, etc.

    I guess if I find that I am really bored, I can work on another Master's!! :eek:
     
  9. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Wow, it sounds like several are taking educational leadership programs. I'm assuming a person can progress to the status of Principal with this if the opportunity presents itself. You are all very brave.
     
  10. La Profesora

    La Profesora Cohort

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    I just finished my Masters in Educational Administration. I started online, and hated it. They were so strict about when you had to be on the computer, and that was the exact opposite of what I needed. I can do class once a week, but online 5 days posting llllllllooooonnnnnnggggggggg papers was not for me.

    I finished at the local college, and loved every minute of it. I got to network with people I will be working with, and it was definitely a great forum to bounce ideas off of (quite like this one!)

    Good Luck
     
  11. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    :hijack:

    my first hijack of the day! We should start our own thread...teachers over 40 club! How long do you plan to work? What works well, what doesn't? What is your plan B? Know some folks already getting social security, still working! Will you go until age 67?? Seems like way down the road...but then again, I just bought a condo...so a 30 yr mortgage sounds a bit alarming to me too!

    I envision myself as a radical advocate for social change, full head of gray hair, marching in Springfield (IL), saying "No more assessment in preschool!!! No more NRS (national reporting system) in Head Start!"

    "Senior teachers march for reform...details at 10"

    p.s. follow me to my, "NCLB" It is always in your power to change things!
     
  12. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Our local university doesn't offer a Master's in Education...yet. I don't know how soon they will and I don't think I want to wait. I do not plan on starting until fall 2008, so I still have time to shop around. Most teachers I know have taken the online programs. I, too, like sitting in a classroom. I think you can learn a great deal more than just submitting research papers online; I just don't have that option. The other universities are just too far away to drive.

    Congratulations on your degree. I'm envious of everybody! who has completed that phase of their education. I feel like I just finished jumping through the hoops for my BA, but there are still more to go. I'm getting too old to jump! I am taking this year to concentrate on nothing but my lesson plans. I had the Praxis III hanging over my head last year. This year I just want to tweak my lesson plans.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Hmmm, would you care to share a wee bit more info, so we might be able to do some research for you?? that is closest major city?

    if you are near the border, you may be able to venture to another state!
     
  14. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I plan on working twenty years, that puts me at 63 and my husband will be 65. Hopefully, we will be able to retire at the same time. OUr house will be paid off (barring no surprises) and our kids should be well on their own by then. Earning my teaching degree was my plan B. I was in my late 30's when I returned to school and I'm very glad I did. Currently, I enjoy spending more quiet time with my husnband now that our kids tend to do more of their own things. We are still busy with the kids, but not as much as we used to be. I guess I am a boring person. We go out to dinner with friends, I have to drive 200 miles to see my family, I'm active in my church and I have hobbies I enjoy. I take an active stand in my department at school, and I take an interest in the kids. (many of our kids are needy in a variety of ways)

    You sound like you are much more of a crusader than I am. Kudos to you!
     
  15. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Venturing into another state, the nearest university is still an hour away. The closest large city is Columbus, and it is two hours away.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Ok, I am on the case! Columbus it is! In the meantime..here's something to perk you up!

    I was in school tonight, just finished my final! At the library, looking online for books for fall classes. Somebody said.."Pssst!"

    It was my daughter!! I ran over and gave her a kiss and hug! :hugs: She just stared on her MBA! Said she had to print a page, and ran off to her class!

    Wow, the last time we were in school together, she was 11! That was when I decided to teach. Her principal talked me into taking a teacher aide job in her school. Then she convinced me to go back to school and be a teacher. It changed my life!

    For years, we rode on the bus, late at night. She was with me for almost all my undergrad classes! She sat next to me, doing her homework and eating her Lunchables.

    Now she is all grown up, has her own place, car..and in school again, just like Mom!
     
  17. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    That's awesome! My son started his freshman year in college the same year I was a senior. Times have changed!! I bet your daughter is as proud of you as you are of her. As for my son, I would hear, "Psst, Mom, do you have any money?":hugs: Of course, he was only 19! Just for the record, my husband works at the same university, so if I didn't have any money, he had a back-up!
     
  18. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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  19. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Thanks, I will check these out tomorrow. the University of Rio Grande also has several MA in Education programs. They have one that I'm very interested in. It is approx. 45-60 min. drive, but it is online, with a summer class. A trip is also a requirement of the program. I have talked to a couple of teachers who have completed this program, and have been happy with it.
     
  20. ~~Pam~~

    ~~Pam~~ Companion

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    I complete my MA in Middle Grades Education next week as I finish my final class. I chose not to do Ed Leadership because I was a manager in the business sector prior to coming to education and do not desire to move into administration. It's just not for me. Make sure you do what makes you happy! Good luck!!
     
  21. ChangeAgent

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    I graduated with a dual B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education, minoring in English.

    So, due to the location of my job, I have decided to pursue an M.A. in English, as I will be teaching high school, and plan to in the future. Thus, I will need a content area to go along with my Special Education certification (I am certified via PRAXIS tests, but no degree in English, so I figured I should remedy that!). This way, I will be able to more effectively transition into regular education later if I so choose (or have a split schedule--with the direction of special ed., who knows!?).

    HOWEVER, I really wanted to enroll in a Social and Cultural Foundations of Education Masters program! I was accepted to Syracuse (where I could concentrate in "gender and education" with the program), but due to job opportunities, I will have to consider it at a later date (as I love the district that hired me). So, in the meantime, I will work towards my English Masters.

    For the record, Cultural Foundations really offers no new job advancements within teaching. Some programs focus on comparative studies between nations, or philosophy, or history, or sociology. So, reseach options tend to be opened to those with a Cultural/Social Foundations Masters. After looking into these programs, I highly recommend them to anyone! They study the intersections of education and the school systems with economics, gender, race, class, politics, religions, etc. There are usually courses in the history and philosophy of education, as well as sociology. Wonderful stuff!
     
  22. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I have my masters in Elementary Education. I did it this way because I wanted to learn more about teaching and didn't plan on teaching forever but wanted the masters because, well, why not? I knew it would help me with my teaching and I was able to get a lot of my classes paid for (1 per semester) through grants. I took the teaching masters route because I started my masters in the fall of my first year of teaching. I was told I could go back and add a few classes to be qualified for a counselors position, but I don't remember all the details. I am actually teaching secondary now, so, yes, some things have changed since getting my degree.

    Being a principal does not appeal to me AT ALL. Being a counselor did, but I now see that they do a lot less work with the kids and more administrative work and work keeping the state testing requirements straight. That does not appeal to me at all. Being a librarian would be great fit for me, but I think I could still get qualified for that position without going through a whole other degree program.

    Anyways, my point is to go the route you WANT. Life will certainly change in wild and mysterious ways, but that does not mean every teacher gets bored eventually. You can always challenge yourself by changing grade levels or furthering your degree when that time comes! Good luck! You sound like a teacher with a lot of heart.
     
  23. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Thanks!

    You bring up another question I have. It's about grants and scholarships. How do I go about checking these out? Is it up to the individual school?
     
  24. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I just finished my masters program. I have a Masters of Creative Arts in Education through Lesley University. I learned how to integrate the arts into the curriculum.


    It was fun and challenging! It cost about $11,000 for the 18 month program. I worked during it and it was a one weekend a month (Fri, Sat and Sun) Two weekend per class.
     
  25. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    This sounds much closer to the program I am researching. It is based on Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. It is a two year program, and besides the tuition costs each student is required to go on one of their trips--either over seas or to N.Y., Chicago, etc. I love to travel, but it is an added expense.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    This is year #22 for me, and I still love it.

    Last year when I was returning to work, I did apply to some local colleges and got 2 calls. I'm happy to say I chose not to persue them.

    I'm happiest right where I am. Sure, the material for college can be interesting. But teaching is all about WHO you teach, not WHAT. And for me, that's HS (with the occasional Jr HS class in the mix to keep it interesting.)

    Ignore what people (including me, if necessary) tell you. Get your degree in the field YOU want and teach the kids/subject YOU want to teach.
     
  27. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    Thanks! There is no guarantee that I will be happy pursuing something other than teaching, and right now I can guarantee that I love teaching! I have considered reading and literacy programs, which I think are extremely important. I could live without the pressure of these decisions! I guess I understand why the state requires further education, but it also takes away from my focus on the classroom--now! I'll shut-up--I'm starting to vent:unsure:
     
  28. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    I got my Master's through Walden University, which is a sponsor of A to Z. I personally LOVED my program and found it very convenient because half way through I was hired for my first teaching job. I was afraid I'd be very overwhelmed, but I wasn't. You do your weekly assignments at a time that is good for you as long as it's within the due date. My degree is Masters in Education with a focus on Integrating Technology. This degree has also been really popular when I was applying for jobs and at interviews.
     
  29. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    I know several teachers working on masters through Walden, but I understood their programs to be K-8, and not for H.S. Am I wrong? I've never looked at their site myself; maybe I should.
     
  30. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Stop on by! Plenty of of posters who live in the Windy City! I'll be glad to help you out!

    As far as grants go, check locally, and within the school. Many scholarships are offered directly through the college of ed. Some private agencies have scholarships: I went back to the high school counseling offices online-just as I did for my daughter. Some of the same programs offer scholarships for grad students.

    I have been taking out student loans. Grad students are eligible for up to $8,500 per year. I know it can be a bit much, but I consider it an investment in myself. I found that if a private scholarship is out there, I look for the ones that pay me directly, as opposed to sending check to school. I'll never get it! The school just smiles and says, "Oh, we applied that money to your loan, isn't that good?" No! I should get the money, and do what I want with it!
     
  31. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Some of the specializations are for high school teachers. Try looking here: http://www.waldenu.edu/c/Schools/Schools_1133.htm
    Integrating Technology in the Classroom is what I have my degree in and that's for grades 3-12. There are also these programs: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for K-12, Literacy and Learning in the Content Areas 6-12 and Teacher Leadership K-12. Hope this helps!
     
  32. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    WOW! Thanks for the info! I am so glad I posted a thread about this. I have learned a great deal. I am going to print off all the information I have acquired and decide which program is best for me. Walden has several interesting programs!:2up:
     
  33. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    We had several classes where we studied Gardner. Also, multiculturalism was a focus.
     
  34. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I'm getting ready to start my 15th year, and I still love my job . . . even with all of the "stuff" that comes with the job.

    Most people at my school get masters degrees in some education area, guidance, or administration.

    I wasn't interested in any of those areas, so I got my masters in English. I've never regretted it. I got it early in my career, too. I started the second semester of my second year.
     
  35. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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    In Ohio, after your 2 year probationary license you have a 5 year license, it is during this time you are now required to earn a masters degree. Although I have passed my Praxis III and I am eligible to apply for my 5 year license, I have one year of eligilbility left on my 2-year license. This buys me a little extra time so I can decide what I want to do.
     
  36. Mrs.Gould

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    No problem! Like I said before, I really loved the program. It took me less than 2 years to get my Masters. I had two classes per semester but it was broken down so that I had one class the first half and one class the second. It was really nice that way! I also took classes in the Spring, Summer and Fall with a week or 2 in between semesters.
     
  37. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    yes, that is one of the sponsors/ads for AtoZ, so they must be decent! I think I called them myself a few years ago.
     
  38. combo teacher

    combo teacher Rookie

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    I just finished my portfolio for my K-8 Mathematics Masters. I was in a 2-year program that had an internet and classroom component. I enjoyed the work and the learning that we did. I graduate August 18th. (Yahoo!!!!) This is my 10th year of teaching and I am just as excited now as I was my first year. Do what is in your heart, and not what is in someone else's mind.
     
  39. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Student Loans

    The amount grad. students could receive through Federal Stafford Loans used to be $18,500 / year. It has gone up this year to $20,000. Anyone in an accredited school can get these loans by filling out the FAFSA & letting your school know you want loans. They are not based on need. Yes, it's a lot of money, but, as Master PreK says, it's an investment in yourself.
     
  40. Weazy

    Weazy Comrade

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  41. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Thanks for the correction MsWk, I thought that figure I quoted didn't look right.
     
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