Before I swapped my Italian last name for a Polish one, I was working on my Masters degree.
Before, during, and after I gave birth to my first beautiful baby, I was working on my Masters degree.
And I worked and worked and worked some more, then I got pregnant with my second beautiful baby and just couldn’t do it.
I stopped my Masters work 12 credits shy of the degree. I don’t like to say I quit or gave up, because my plan is to eventually get back in the saddle, but for now, my time and money is spent on these little people who call me Mom. Most days I don’t mind, but there are fleeting moments where I’m all, “TWELVE CREDITS?! C’MON, WOMAN!”
Don’t be me, okay? Especially if you’re a teacher.
When people talk about going back to school, they are usually talking about changing careers. But there are many careers that reward employees for climbing up the ladder in their current gig by earning an additional or higher degree. Teaching is one of these careers.
Teachers have a lot to gain and nothing to lose by earning their Master’s degree.
A Master of Arts in teaching instantly commands a higher salary. Who doesn’t want to earn more money?! Another upside of a Masters in Teaching is that it can actually create new job opportunities, so if you’re not feeling the classroom vibe any more, you’ll have the power to make a switch which will inevitably improve your current situation and quality of life.
Becoming the teacher and the student won’t be easy, though.
Earning your Masters degree will require a great deal of time and dedication, especially because you’ll be working full-time and going to school and seeking that elusive balance at home. When that all seems overwhelming, think about all the other people who have done it! (I know I do, and I think thoughts of regret and I-should-have’s). You can be among the multi-tasking ranks who will eventually have the salary and sanity to show for it! Efficiently balancing your home and work life will take some planning, and time and budget will be at a premium, but it can be done if you take it slowly.
My biggest mistake was trying to cram my summers full of classes, and once Baby #1 came along in July of 2009, I was sitting on my wooden dining room chair, wining, while trying to keep up with classes and nursing. <–the boob kind, not the RN kind. I think had I not overloaded my schedule in an effort to HURRY, I may have finished my degree.
While it may seem like an overwhelming task at first, don’t let intimidation scare you away from this endeavor. Take it one day at a time, and learn from me: do not take too many classes so you are bogged down with studying. Take the amount of classes that allows you to also perform well at your job and spend an adequate amount of time with your family. Oh, there’s that elusive balance again. Remember, there is no deadline to earn your degree (says the woman who has been working on hers for SEVEN YEARS). It’s not a race, and if you’re earning your Masters as a personal goal, remember to keep your eye on the prize especially on those days where it seems impossible.
I hope to finally finish my Master’s degree before I’m 80 mostly because I like to finish what I start, especially if it’s chocolate. I’m also kind of addicted to the feeling of accomplishment that only comes from doing something remarkable. Oh, and money. I like more money, too.