Should I get my masters degree in education, or should I just get my National Board Certification?
I want to become a teacher in North Carolina and right now Masters Pay is not offered, so is it worth getting my masters degree, or should I just become National Board Certified?
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You already received some great advice from someone in state. I would also encourage you to consider your mid- to long-term plans not just the short-term benefit. If you move to a different state (or country) or change careers over your lifetime, a MA could have real benefits for you. Only you can decide, but I'll share my story as an example. I am a resident of a different state, Washington. I am also someone who entered teaching as a second career, am now onto my third and considering a fourth! If you are not necessarily a lifetime teacher, an MA *may* be more valuable.
I was a Special Education teacher in Washington State. Because I changed fields (from Microsoft to teaching :), I earned my Masters in Teaching along with my state teaching certification. In my scenario and in Washington State, that degree bumped my pay quite a bit. National Boards would have added a bit more and certified me to teach in any state. However, I decided I wanted to work directly with families as a special education consultant and advocate.
As a private practitioner, the MA is much more valuable than National Boards would be - the education I received, the connections with the college and my classmates, the degree, etc. It's also more helpful for my future plans. For example, I am currently considering another degree in mental health counseling as this is a real challenge for students with special needs. My previous MA coursework will help me get in to a great program; and some of the classes I took may also earn me credit in the new program.
So neither decision is right or wrong. It just depends on your needs and plans short, medium and long term. Of course you can be a superhero and do BOTH, but I know how challenging teaching is. Be sure to leave some time to care for yourself.
Thank you for your service! Good luck!
First, I applaud you for desiring to advance in your career. Also, this is a fairly common concern. It really depends on what your goal is. The National Board Certification will provide you the opportunity to increase your income as well as distinguish you from teachers who do not hold the certification. Currently, there is a small fraction of teachers in the U.S. holding the board certification. Income can often be a driving factor in making career decisions. In North Carolina where salaries are low, it is imperative to consider ways to increase one's salary in order to maintain a decent lifestyle. While you are an educator, you still probably need money. The advance degree on the other hand will increased your salary at a lower rate, as well as situate you for career growth, dependent upon the degree you pursue. Are you considering becoming an administrator, curriculum developer, school psychologist, counselor, eventually leaving the school system, or what? Perhaps you might even consider pursuing both. If so, map out a plan to achieve both goals. Determine what your priorities are, and then select the option that you will will pursue first. Keep in mind that both pursuits will take time, energy, effort, resources, and commitment. It is essential that you map out a short-term and long-term career plan.
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