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Master's Degree or Teach?

 
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kmr164



Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 6:39 pm    Post subject: Master's Degree or Teach? Reply with quote

I am a newbie with a BA in Psychology, male 43yrs., single and no children. I've got a couple of questions if y'all could help me with. I've got the itch to go to work in tefl. I'm trying to decide whether I should get a master's degree or go ahead and get started with teaching. A master's in Ed. would help in jobs, but would it be possible to get one online while I'm working? And is it even thesible to get one in the field of tefl? I'm tired of school right now, and so the decision to work or continue with school is trying my patience.
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salary with M Ed up to 3,000 a month
Salary with BA psychology $3.00 an hour

What type of work have you done?
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Irish



Joined: 13 Jan 2003
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:15 pm    Post subject: To MA or not to MA...that is the question Reply with quote

kmr164:

Some things only you can answer...

"What country do I want to work in?" (Pay and working hours vary by location--will country X enable you to fund the online MA and allow you time to do it?)

"What type of teaching do I want to do?" (Language schools, uni, primary school, etc--what do your future employers want?)

"Do I plan to do this for the long haul or am I likely to tire of it in a few years and want to do something else (something that may or may not be education related)?"

My situation: I'm 35 (well, I will be in two days), single, no kids, BA Psych, and began my MATESL in January. Although I could've gone to any number of places on the BA alone, my answers to the above questions made this the logical choice for me.

If you like teaching and want better jobs, you'll probably need a master's at some point. (Note to those itching to start the "Degrees do not a teacher make" argument: I know, I'm not saying that--I'm only commenting on the reality of the job market in many places.) I sympathize with you because I went through the very same thing last year but I don't think anyone can advise you until you're clear on what you want.

Good luck.
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy b day Irish, you youngster. I'm cuarenta y cinco and I feel every minute of it. I know u don't need my opinion, but the masters is a good long haul idea.

A fellow disciple of Freud Smile
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8936
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm for the Master's. In many places, they like to see that piece of paper. It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have.
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you teach a while first and if you like teaching then get a masters down the road by distance ed.. You may hate teaching after all. A Masters is a huge undertaking. Get a teaching qualification like a CELTA and that should open up plenty of jobs for you.
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dan



Joined: 20 Mar 2003
Posts: 247
Location: shanghai

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:24 pm    Post subject: MA vs. teaching Reply with quote

I am in complete agreement with the first part of Gordon's reply: you should definitely test the waters, so to speak, before you plunge into an MA program. however, its not exactly a huge undertaking. i returned from china june '02 and im half way finished with an MA in applied linguistics. it gets very stressful at the end of the terms, but graduate school is punctuated by vacations and breaks that allow you time and reflection to regain your sanity. i also find that the time cruises on by...
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you are right Dan. I am starting my Masters in 2 weeks. But for someone who has not taught before, a Masters is a big step. I have been teaching for over 8 years and I only just feel ready now.
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Ben Round de Bloc



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:43 pm    Post subject: To MA or not to MA Reply with quote

I don't disagree with anything in the previous posts. However, I did find certain aspects of doing my MA quite stressful. I took a leave from teaching when in my mid-40s and did the whole thing in one stretch of two years including two summer school sessions.

In retrospect, I don't regret doing it, mainly because that piece of paper has gotten where I am now, and it did make me feel much better prepared to teach EFL even though I'd been a public school English teacher for nearly 20 years. At the same time, I see it as one of those once-in-a-lifetime-is-enough experiences. I realize many people have completed more than one masters degree, but for me the experience pretty much killed my desire to seriously further my formal education.

I might add that it wasn't the course work itself that bothered me. I found many of the courses quite challenging and demanding, but I considered that a good thing. However, I did not appreciate the politics, the multitude of hoops to jump through, and the unique (for lack of a better word) personalities of some of the professors in the program.
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PanamaTeacher



Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 278
Location: Panama

PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2003 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KMR--I'm with Ben on the value of the credential. It will open doors.
I can't comment on the experience since that depends on the school, etc.
I would get the master first; but since you don't know if you'll enjoy teaching maybe you should try it before you commit to the grind and expense of grad school. What kinds of jobs have you had over your career?
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kmr164



Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to thank everyone who has replied to my topic of indecision. It's been informative and I'm leaning towards the Masters, but I have a year to make a final decision. FYI, I don't have any teaching experience per say. I have been a counselor in social services, specializing in substance abuse, for about 10 years now. I'm very good at what I do, but I need a change. I have no doubts that I would enjoy teaching. I have a gift for helping people get their lives together and I can associate helping people with teaching.
To get back to the Master's degree, I have found that I can go the interdisciplinary route, if I want. I could specialize in Educational Psychology, Elem. and/or Higher Ed. and/or Applied Linquistics.
There,s a lot of diversified options. Oh well, another decision.
As for where I would like to teach, I can speak spanish some what, so I was looking into South America, but haven't found anything special. Also I have friends in Thailand, so that is the main country right now. Plus, anywhere in Southeast Asia would be exceptable if the right opportunity presented itself.
Again, Thanks for your feedback, it helps tremendously.
kmr164
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