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Teachers- Help with q''s about master''s degree!!!

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Tuckins1

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Hi there. I am a certified teacher, with an endorsement in cognitive impairment. I am currently working in a resource room, where all of my students are LD. I am planning on going back to school for my masters degree soon... I am debating 2 options.

#1- Go back for a Master's in LD... It will give me an additional endorsement as well as the added benefit of more pay, not to mention that I will be more knowledgeable in the field of LD. I can have this degree in about 8 classes, since many of my CI classes transfer over.

#2- Go back for a master's in CI... I can get in in less than half of the amount of classes as the LD degree because every single one of the special ed classes I took for my undergrad count toward this degree.

Which would you do? The quicker one, or the one that takes a bit more time? I could also get my master's in CI, and then go back for an endorsement in LD... That way there is less of a chance of my credits expiring if I can't get all of the classes out of the way for the LD degree.

What would you do if it were you?
 

swimmer

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I have never typed this before, but "git ''er done!"

Seriously. If there are awesome classes that the LD folks chat about (you will have classes that overlap with them) just take those as extra. But since you are already teaching and can get it done faster (and probably cheaper?) just get it done. When you look at your contract''s payscale it says Masters and then Masters +15 or 30 or whatever, it doesn''t say Masters (but one that was faster/cheaper) anywhere.

One question though now that I''m thinking...will your uni let you count a class for two different degrees? Make absolutely certain that they will let ALL of the classes that you have already taken count. There might be a hidden loophole here as universities do not like to let you get away without paying...you know, they are businesses after all.

Yeah to you for getting your Masters! Remember, if you go the faster route, you can always take the classes you want LATER to count towards your next step in the pay scale and more importantly to learn the stuff you WANT to learn...or need to for state stuff.
 

Haven

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Hi, Tuck and Swimmer!

My advice would totally depend on your purpose for going back to school. So . . .
How do the following rank in priority for you?
- Moving lanes in the salary schedule
- Broadening your certification, and thus your job opportunities
- Deepening your knowledge in your current specialization
- Spending as little money and time as possible on your education

I would also second Swimmer''s recommendation to make sure that the university will allow you to use prior credits toward your graduation requirements. I know that all of the local universities here in Illinois do NOT allow you to use any prior credits toward new degrees.

I''m not sure which state you''re in, but I can tell you that a degree in reading is highly sought after here in Illinois. I have my MEd in reading and literacy, so I''m a certified reading specialist. I loved my program, and it''s really improved my work as an English teacher, as well. Just another option, in case you''re open for that. I was in school two nights per week (four hours each night) during two school years, and then four days per week (eight hours each day) for one summer. So, it was 33 credit hours total (11 classes), plus a master''s thesis and defense. It was a tough schedule with teaching full time, but it was totally worth it.
 

Tuckins1

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Thanks for the quick feedback Swimmer and Haven. I had an appointment with the head of the LD department today, and i''ve decided to go for the LD program. He will let a few of my other classes carry over, so it cuts down a little on my work load. I am in no hurry, and I really think the classes will be more beneficial to me professionally. Since I already have an endorsement in CI, I will end up doubling up on information that I already know, and I crave new info! Thanks so much for taking a moment to help me sort this out!!
 

Haven

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Excellent! Good luck to you!
 

diamondseeker2006

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Date: 2/17/2009 4:50:10 PM
Author: Tuckins1
Thanks for the quick feedback Swimmer and Haven. I had an appointment with the head of the LD department today, and i''ve decided to go for the LD program. He will let a few of my other classes carry over, so it cuts down a little on my work load. I am in no hurry, and I really think the classes will be more beneficial to me professionally. Since I already have an endorsement in CI, I will end up doubling up on information that I already know, and I crave new info! Thanks so much for taking a moment to help me sort this out!!
Oh, great! My master''s is in special ed. with LD endorsement! That was what I was going to recommend. I think every teacher should have to take the LD courses because every teacher will have LD students in their classroom, and it would be SOOOOOO helpful if teachers knew the best way to teach LD kids! I also do resource but mainly teach reading. Once you get finished with your master''s, I''d recommend taking either the Lindamood-Bell Or Orton-Gillingham training so you can really remediate reading disorders.
 

swimmer

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Awesome that you met with the chair and made a decision. Can you tell my jaded perspective as someone at the end of two masters degrees plus change and working to finish my freaking dissertation? I''m no longer a fan of my own learning, just task completion.
Stick a fork in me. Good luck on this voyage of learning! I hope that you get tons out of it, yes LD is in every classroom.

Hi Haven
 

Tuckins1

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Date: 2/17/2009 6:15:11 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
Date: 2/17/2009 4:50:10 PM

Author: Tuckins1

Thanks for the quick feedback Swimmer and Haven. I had an appointment with the head of the LD department today, and i''ve decided to go for the LD program. He will let a few of my other classes carry over, so it cuts down a little on my work load. I am in no hurry, and I really think the classes will be more beneficial to me professionally. Since I already have an endorsement in CI, I will end up doubling up on information that I already know, and I crave new info! Thanks so much for taking a moment to help me sort this out!!
Oh, great! My master''s is in special ed. with LD endorsement! That was what I was going to recommend. I think every teacher should have to take the LD courses because every teacher will have LD students in their classroom, and it would be SOOOOOO helpful if teachers knew the best way to teach LD kids! I also do resource but mainly teach reading. Once you get finished with your master''s, I''d recommend taking either the Lindamood-Bell Or Orton-Gillingham training so you can really remediate reading disorders.
Good to know that you have so much reading remediation experience... I have a few students that are struggling with reading, and the school that i''m at really doesn''t have any specific program or protocol for re-teaching reading skills. I have been using phonics activities and computer games/programs, as well as reading together A LOT and going over spelling patterns and rules. Any suggestions? I have elementary kids- most of my low readers really struggle with the basics- phonics, blending, decoding.
 

Elegant

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Reading specialists and people who deal with learning disabilities are hot commodities here in CA. I''ve over educated myself and have gotten nowhere fast with the degrees I have, so I now frown upon higher ed! Isn''t that sad? I would have said take the quicker master''s program if you would get enough credits to bump you up on the salary schedule.
 
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