If you’re a teacher, it pays to pursue your graduate degree. With an MA in TESOL or a Master of Education degree, doors will open to you like never before. Don’t be put off by the potential cost: although expensive, there are many ways of managing the fees including financial aid and grants available either directly from the Government or from the school or university you’re applying to.
Here are five reasons that you should go back to school for an advanced graduate degree:
1. NCLB – hiring highly-qualified teachers
NCLB requires that schools hire highly-qualified teachers. For many schools, this means hiring teachers who have earned their Master’s degree. If you want to have a better choice of schools in which to teach, having an advanced degree offers those options. Schools receive more federal funding when they employ highly-qualified teachers, and more funding means more supplies, extra-curricular activities, and a better learning environment.
2. School hiring requirements
Once you are hired as an entry-level teacher, your school may set you a time limit and give you just a few years in which to earn an MA or MEd. This will be explained to you during the hiring process. For most teachers, a master’s degree must be earned within five years of their hire date. If you have any questions as to whether your school requires you to earn an advanced degree, speak to your principal for clarification.
3. Keep up to date with the latest teaching knowledge
As a teacher, you are aware of the importance of education and lifelong learning. Instruction styles change and educational trends evolve. By going back to school for your degree, you will be kept abreast of these changes. Master’s programs teach teachers how to teach. Emphasis is placed on pedagogy and educational technology. Students today learn with multiple literacies, it is no longer sufficient to teach solely from a textbook and a white board.
4. Students Benefit from a Better Teacher
By earning your Master’s, you become a better teacher. The people who benefit from this improvement in your skills are your students. Students who are taught by highly-qualified teachers learn more, absorb more and develop a greater love for school. Consider who you would want teaching your own friends or family. Most people would prefer a teacher who is considered an expert in his or her field (read more about the specialist subjects).
5. Moving On
Whether you want to be an administrator or a college professor, an MA or MEd will help with your career progression. Principals and other members of the administration staff are required to have an advanced degree. The same can be said for college professors. When you earn your graduate degree, you can pick up a side job as a college professor and earn more money.
If you have been thinking about pursuing your Masters of Education, there is no time like the present. The sooner you begin, the sooner you will graduate. When you pursue and earn your degree, you are not the only one to benefit; your students reap the rewards as well.
Accredited Schools offering Masters in Education Programs
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For more information, consult the American Federation of Teachers website.