Master's degree to teach in California?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by kelly33, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. kelly33

    kelly33 New Member

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    Feb 29, 2020

    Hi, I'm currently in my junior year in college to get my B.S. in Child & Adolescent Studies (with a focus on elementary school setting), and I have the choice of just getting my teaching credentials afterwards, or taking the combined Master's/credentialing program (which I heard is extremely difficult and expensive).

    The thing is, I have been receiving the Cal Grant which has covered all my tuition costs in college, and it will cover credentialing as well. But it won't cover a master's degree. So my question is... in the state of California, is a Master's degree REQUIRED to teach elementary school?

    Also, for those who've gotten a master's in CA, is it worth it? ...In terms of getting hired right away and receiving a higher salary?

    Andd what would a starting salary look like with just a bachelor's? I'm thinking of moving out of my parent's house right away after I finish school so I'd like to know.

    Sorry for the long question. Thanks for answering!
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Feb 29, 2020

    No, a Masters is not required to each elementary in CA.

    Getting one, though, absolutely is worth it (eventually) as you will make much more money. Just look at various salary schedules.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Feb 29, 2020

    Kelly33,

    If it were me, I would just get the bachelor's and teaching credential, and start work teaching. Then go back for your master's degree part-time, after a few years. When you are working, you can count those master's classes for the required professional development classes you must take to maintain your credential -- so it is like you can double-count them. If you already have a master's, you still have to take the required professional development classes each year, but it is in addition to what you have already taken. If you are working towards your master's part time, you can count those credits for your master's degree and for your professional development requirements.

    Also, some school districts (not all, by any means) may subsidize or cover some of your master's classes -- especially in specific areas. I wouldn't start back until you've taught for 3 or more years, because the first year or two has such a steep learning curve that you don't want the added stress of graduate courses.

    You also want to make sure it is "worth it" to get your master's. I always appreciated that extra money for having my master's, but when I moved to a new district in a different state, they only paid a $900 per year master's supplement. I was used to getting about $3,000-$4,000 per year supplement -- so make sure the districts you are considering offer a supplement that will make it worth your while. A lot of districts are changing to much lower supplements as a cost-saving measure. You need to check with specific districts to see.

    Last, what if you start teaching and discover it isn't for you? You could always go back to school and get a master's in a different area, and try a different career. But if you get your bachelor's and your master's, before you actually get your own classroom, and then you find "it isn't for you," then you have wasted 6 years and are stuck with a master's degree that really doesn't transfer to many other careers.

    Best wishes!
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Feb 29, 2020

    Excellent advice, RainStorm.
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

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    Feb 29, 2020

    Brilliant, as always. Excellent advice.
     
  7. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Groupie

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    Feb 29, 2020

    Rain is right on! I got my MA in another occupation. It has helped me to know if I was really unhappy, I had another option.
     
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