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My university offers a five year Master's program for Education Majors, should I complete a fifth year for my masters or should I go straight into full time teaching?

I want to teach Middle School English until I can learn more than three languages. I do not plan to teach for more than 8 years, but things may change the further I get into my major (as I am a first year student). I would like to know the significance of a Master's Degree in the field of Language Arts.

#teaching #teacher #language-teaching

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Laurel’s Answer

Hi Desirae,

I'm a little confused by some of the details in your question. What is the significance of three languages? Do you want to teach three languages? Also, what is the significance of 8 years?

I would recommend that you speak to an advisor at your university, as well as any current teachers in your state who you know. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to earn your bachelor's, teach a few years, and then return for your master's. Teachers who only have BA degrees usually earn lower salaries, but in my state (Michigan) most schools won't hire someone who has a master's but no experience. However, in Michigan, teachers are required to go back to school after 7 years of teaching to earn their master's, or else they can not remain certified.

Certification requirements vary state by state. Although I was originally certified in MI, I taught in North Carolina, where a master's is never required at any point in a teacher's tenure, and teachers with master's are not paid anything extra for having master's. In that state, there is no value to having a master's, other than the education it gives you (which is valuable, although it's not financially valuable for teachers in that state).

If you decide to pursue a master's, you will also have to decide if you wish to pursue a degree in your subject area (English Language Arts) or within the College of Education (such as a master's in assessment or curriculum design). Ultimately, you will have to decide what your career goals are and if a master's will serve your needs, help you advance in your chosen line of work, and if it will pay off financially to earn one. What do you want to do after you leave teaching?

I'm sorry I can't give you more specific advice, but I hope I have given you some factors to consider.
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Elaine’s Answer

Thanks for asking. I would definitely take the Masters pr ogram as it puts you above and ahead others who don't have it, some states, like New York, require it within 5 years of being your Bachelors or you never get a teaching certificate. Also most districts pay extra if you have a Masters,and you can teach part time at a university or community college if you have it you say you only want to teach for 8 years. That is a long time away and you never know how you'll feel then or what your life will be. I'm a great believer in preparing yourself to have the most options and so I would do the Masters.
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B.K.’s Answer

I think completing your Master's might be a great idea. I do not know what the degree will be. Will you graduate with a Master's in Education Leadership, Administration, or a specialty area such as reading or curriculum development? In any event, just make sure the program will help you reach your career goals. If so, upon completion you will have already met the requirements to move beyond the teaching level in your career. After gaining teaching experience and a feel for the profession, you will be in a position to advance if you should so desire based on job openings and prerequisites. With the education piece in place, I suggest creating a 5-year career plan. With this plan in place you will already have a road map to follow. You might not to modify it as time goes by, but that is okay. One extra year of school will pass before you know it. In addition, completing a dual program is time and cost effective.

B.K. recommends the following next steps:

example of education master's degree programs: https://www.hbu.edu/college-of-education-and-behavioral-sciences/department-of-curriculum-and-instruction/graduate-program-campus-med-master-of-education/
advantages of dual degree program: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionaleducation/11/accelerated-bachelors-masters-degree.asp
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