As a teacher, earning your master’s degree in education may not be necessary. But taking that extra step has the potential to open up a whole new world of career opportunities, broaden your skill set, and transform you into the best teacher you can be.
So what’s stopping you from earning your M.Ed.? We have an idea of some less-than-optimistic thoughts that might be running through your mind right about now (I don’t have enough time, it’s not worth the effort, it won’t be useful), and we don’t blame you. Going back to school sounds overwhelming!
Luckily, not all graduate programs are created equal, and some even offer workarounds to quell those questions and doubts. That said, there are a lot of graduate programs out there. So, how do you sort through them all and select a program that’s right for you?
To make it easy, we’ve rounded up the top three things to look for in a master’s program so that you can achieve your goals without sacrificing your precious time, energy, and flexibility.
What to Look for in a Master’s Program
Relevance. You don’t have time to juggle a ton of extra coursework that’s unrelated to your day-to-day instruction—you still have a class to teach! Instead, look for a program that allows you to work toward your degree while you teach in the classroom, killing two birds with one stone. If that sounds too good to be true, think again.
In certain programs, you can earn the majority of your graduate credit within your own classroom, with little outside reading or writing required. So rather than plowing through countless reading assignments after a long day of teaching, you would instead apply new strategies to the curriculum that you already use, streamlining your typical daily instruction with your coursework.
Practicality. Oftentimes, graduate materials sound overly superfluous and theoretical, which will likely leave you wondering how to actually use what you’ve learned in your classroom—and what’s the point in that? To avoid this problem, find a program that gives you real-world processes and tools that you can use on a daily basis—think lesson resources, lesson plans, student work samples, and assessment tools. Now those are things we could all use.
And speaking of useful, let’s talk about instructors. The best programs feature personable instructors who provide practical feedback that will really help you improve your lesson design and make the most of your curriculum.
Efficiency. We can all appreciate the concept of efficiency. And who’s to say that it’s not possible when earning a graduate degree alongside working a full-time job?
To save time and effort, look for programs that offer fully online courses, flexible scheduling, and clear guidelines for a seamless progression toward your master’s degree. And, those programs we mentioned above that allow you to earn credit while teaching in your own classroom? That’s about as efficient as it gets.
Now that you know what to look for, you’re ready to get out there and find a graduate program that’s right for you. So take a deep breath and get ready to become the best teacher you can be! Explore one of our favorite graduate programs here.