You have professional goals for the kind of job you want and the educational service you want to provide. You’re dedicated to improving outcomes for your students, their families and your community. Furthering your own education is a powerful tool in accomplishing those goals, and an online master’s degree program is the most sensible next step for a large number of working teachers.
Why Does Flexibility Matter for Teachers?
You work full time. You want an M.Ed. because of the work that you do. Certainly the salary and benefits are also important reasons to continue working while going to school, but teachers choose to continue their education because they believe in the work that they’re already doing, and the work they could do with additional training.
Fortunately, getting a degree doesn’t have to disrupt your career. Indeed, pairing full-time work as a teacher with going back to school can have dynamic effects as educational theory is put into constant educational practice, new ideas invigorate old routines, and the latest research has the chance to bolster good intuition and challenge unfounded assumptions. An online master’s degree program helps teachers to keep teaching and get the education to do it even better.
You know your schedule better than anyone. Teachers are busy professionals who already have to plan and prepare to fit in everything they want to get done. You know the rhythm of how the school year starts, the time it takes to prep a new lesson or unit, and when you’re going to have to stay late or take work home. You have already planned in the commitment to coach a team, sponsor a club or sit on a committee (and maybe all three).
The flexibility of online coursework makes it possible to fit a master’s degree into that schedule. Add to that a program with multiple start dates a year, and you can become a graduate student on your terms and in your own time.
Flexibility is good for working families. For many teachers, working as an educator and going to graduate school will still have to balance with demanding caregiving responsibilities. These may include parenting children, caring for aging relatives, and advocating for loved ones with illness or disability.
The Pew Charitable Trusts report that, “According to the New York City Comptroller’s report, one in five workers in the U.S. is responsible for elder care, while 65 percent of caregivers report having to alter their schedules or take time off from work to care for family. Nearly 75 percent of employees of both genders report not having enough time for their children.”
The flexibility to study when you schedule the time can reduce stress, both in the degree program and at home. The time that would have been spent commuting to a university campus can be put to better use at home.
The online program is convenient and accessible wherever you are. Teachers in rural areas and their colleagues in stand-still urban traffic will both appreciate the accessibility of classes they don’t have to travel to. Night owls and early birds alike can customize when and where they pursue their studies.
Educators ready to enhance their classroom skills, move into administrative positions, or specialize their approach all have programs available to pursue wherever they choose.
Learn more about the University of Louisiana Monroe online M.Ed. programs.
PEW Charitable Trusts: Can Flextime Help Working Families Have It All?
Gawker: Why Teachers Obsessively Schedule Every Part of the Work Day