Tenured then Masters or Masters then Tenured?

Recently I’ve come across a dilemma that I didn’t think I’d have to think about for at least another few years. That dilemma is when to start my Masters program.

I am currently in my 3rd year of teaching and my 2nd year at my current district. In Minnesota a public school teacher has to teach at their district for 3 full years and be contractually hired for their 4th year before they are officially tenured. Earlier this week I heard from a friend that her and another (tenured) teacher were looking into starting their Masters programs next year and wanted to create a cohort with younger teachers from our school. They reached out to me to see if I’d be interested and it ignited a series of questions and thoughts in my mind that I didn’t think I’d have to worry about or think about for awhile.

I didn’t think that starting my Masters would even be an option for me at this point in my career. Growing up as a teacher’s kid I’ve heard the stigma behind getting your Masters before your tenured in Minnesota. I always grew up with the notion that you don’t go for your Masters in Education until your tenured. In the past, it has been known that if you do have your Masters, or are in the process of taking classes towards it, school districts will let you go because you might cost them more money. My mom is in her 24th year of teaching and said that she wasn’t able to think about her Masters until she was tenured because she knew she would not have a job if she did.

Currently, at least in Minnesota, a lot of schools are now offering a 5 year program that gives students the opportunity to graduate after those 5 years with their Bachelors and Masters in education. Many of my classmates (from high school) have recently graduated from some of these schools and have gotten jobs without a problem. My college did not have this program, so I didn’t even know this was a thing until after I graduated and had my first teaching job.

After getting the email from my fellow teachers, I started wondering if this was even possible for me. I talked to one of my close friends (who was also part of the original email) and she suggested I talked to our principal. We have a new principal and a new superintendent so she suggested I reached out to find out the new policies on the process.

I talked to my principal and found out that he is totally for whatever I want. He talked to me and told me that the stigma I grew up learning about wasn’t true anymore. He told that me that if I think I can handle it, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t go for it.

What do all of you think? My whole blog is based on being a rookie teacher and I definitely feel like one now because I don’t know what to do. When did you get your Masters in education? Was it before or after you were tenured? What is your advice for me?

After I heard this great response from my principal, I started to get super interested and excited that this is a possibility for me at this point in my career. The only thing is, I’m kinda nervous to get this all going! I could really use some experienced advice.

 

For more day to day action and activities, go follow my teacher/class’s Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

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