Monday, March 5, 2012

Does Getting a Master's in Teaching Matter?

So, my credential program is coming to an end. My last day is on April 14th of 2012. CalStateTeach has an interesting feature in their program. After you complete CalStateTeach, you can enroll in an online master's in teaching program that will take a mere single additional semester beyond the acquisition of your credential. That makes it very tempting to me.

But, there are two related reasons for why I don't want to pursue any master's in teaching right now: #1 By the time I would start the master's program, I would (hopefully) have a teaching job. So then, I would need to balance my first year of teaching along with completing that master's program. #2 When I'm in a master's program, I will need to read what they want me to read. I will need to do what they want me to do. I'm pretty confident that the program would be very educational. However, I'm highly doubtful that they would give me the information that I need exactly WHEN I need it. When I will need this or that information will depend on the specific circumstances of my classroom. Whatever unforeseeable and undesirable circumstances may be, I want to spend my time looking up how to alleviate them rather than completing the busy work of my master's program.

At the same time, I worry about me not having a master's greatly ruining my chances of getting a teaching job. So, I asked several individuals in the field of education whether me not enrolling in a master's program would deter me from entering the field any quicker. I asked my supervisor, a special ed teacher I worked with in one of my previous schools, my current mentor teacher, the principal and vice principal of the school.

So far, only my supervisor has said that I would be ruining my chances of becoming a teacher by not pursuing a master's degree in teaching. The special ed teacher said that he knows several multiple subject teachers who teach well, but don't have master's degrees. My mentor teacher says that many districts prefer that teacher's don't have master's degrees in teaching. Especially for schools that are trying to cut down costs, they would prefer a teacher without a master's degree (I have heard this same sentiment on yahoo answers). You must pay a teacher with a master's degree more. Both the principal and vice principal of the school that I currently student teach at stated that in the end, they need to see that a teacher teaches well (which includes knowing how to manage a class), have good references and recommendations.

Because most people that I've asked had either a pessimistic or neutral view about the prospects of pursuing a master's in teaching, for now, I will not pursue it.

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