Monday, January 9, 2012

What to do?

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but it has me in it and it's one that I have always liked. Since this is a post all about me, I wanted one that had me in it! Eric took it last summer on our trip to the zoo. 

I've mentioned before that I am planning to get my Master's degree next year. I really want to get started as soon as possible. I'm excited to learn more, expand my career opportunities, and finally start my career as a "grown up". The only problem with that is I still cannot figure out what I want to be when I grow up! I have spent the last several months doing research about which online university options I have available to me in my unique position (non-military overseas). And instead of narrowing my options, I feel I'm increasing them!

I started with the idea of "educational leadership" or "teacher leadership" (the program depends on the school). To me, these sound like great options, but my fear is that they're too good to be true. In other words, the program provides some great classes on how to be a leader in your school, but doesn't provide the certification to do anything other than teach (and maybe be a department head). Not a bad idea if I'm not looking to expand my "employability"--I'm pretty sure I made up that word!

Next, I moved onto Administration and Supervision which led me to the question of whether or not I really want to be an administrator. Good question. There are pros and cons, but I've eliminated it for now because of my lack of classroom experience. No one wants an administrator who hasn't taught. Including me.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is up next. It all sounds good, but it's not going to make me any more employable in the state of Washington where good teachers with Master's degrees abound.

Special Education...a part of me has always wanted to get into Special Ed, and a big part of me still does. I think if getting certified through an online master's program was possible, I would go for it. It would keep me in the classroom, and I would be employable in Washington as well as overseas. Unfortunately, the universities that I have to choose from do not give me that option.

So, career change? I looked into School Psychology. Another degree that I'm really interested in. It sounds great, in theory. The reality is that school psychologists are being eliminated and that many high school counselors spend way too much time arguing with students and parents about schedules than anything else. With over 400 students on their case loads (in Stanwood), how on earth are they supposed to do anything to help those individual students?!

So, right now I'm thinking about Instructional Design and Technology. It's a bit of a stretch for me because I am not a natural with technology, but I am interested in it. I know it's a growing field and becoming a bigger part of education every day. It would open a lot of doors for me as far as my career goes, too, allowing me to stay in education and enhance my teaching or branch out from it if I have to. 

What to do?

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