Graduate Degree in Education

By Jill Paugys

Teaching: Not A Spectator Sport!

Let's face it, once you become a teacher, you are not working your typical sit-in-a-cubical-nine-to-five-job.  Those outside of the field believe teachers have it easy; summers and holidays off, 3:00 dismissals, and a "job" where you play with children all day.  Anyone who has spent a day in the classroom knows otherwise.  You come home exhausted from managing twenty plus balls of energy all day, not to mention meeting the dreaded administrator's daily demands, only to begin grading papers, calling parents, and creating your next set of lesson plans.  Don't even get me started on the extra time spent during parent teacher conferences and report card time. 

So is it worth it to spend what free time you have going back to school to give even more of your time to the field of education?

A Typical Day at Grad School

Honestly, the worst part of the whole graduate school experience was the application process.   Once I was accepted into a master's degree education program I actually wanted to go to class.  Admittedly so, this was not always the case in my undergraduate studies.  The difference is that in graduate school every single course I enrolled in was one I had handpicked that was related to my area of concentration.  In other words, I was whole-heartedly invested in my graduate school classes because the subjects appealed to me. There were no mandatory labs or classes to trudge through; just a group of teachers sitting in a room debating topics, toying with new theories, sharing teaching strategies, and swapping classroom stories. 

Master's in Education Experience

The experience of earning my master's degree in education exceeded my expectations, as I was given things I did not necessarily know I wanted.  I'm not ashamed to say that I pursued an advanced degree to move up on the pay scale.  What I left with after I walked across the stage at graduation was a fresh perspective on the teaching, a new desire to motivate and inspire my students, an overall elevated spirit inside my classroom, and a step up on the pay scale. I remember leaving the university each night feeling excited to get to work the next day.  I could not wait to share with my students the new writing technique I had learned or to read to them the new picture book my professor read to me the night before.  During the time I was in graduate school, my students were quick to pick up on my enthusiasm.  It didn't matter much to them what I was excited about; they sensed it and were eager to discover new things I was presented to them.  I learned that my enthusiasm was contagious! 

How a Master's in Education may be Viewed by Potential Employers

Beyond that, potential employers sensed that same genuine passion in me during interviews while questioning me about my graduate school experience.  It is not a secret that the most effective teachers are passionate and enthusiastic.  One of my major goals as a teacher is to make lifelong learners out of every student that crosses my path.  Modeling is the best form of teaching and I know that graduate school was just one stop on my road of lifelong learning. 

Now, on to the next avenue of inspiration!


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