A Masters Degree…something I haven’t given much thought to at all.  Brace yourself for my honest opinion on this topic.

During the course of this past term many people (educators and family and friends, alike) have asked me if I am considering a Masters degree in my near future.  My immediate and blatant first response is, “No! Definitely not”.  I’m usually an extremely keen go-getter when it comes to stuff like this so I think people are a bit shocked when they experience my reaction to their question.   Although I do adore being a student, going to school and learning new things, a Masters degree (for me, anyhow) is definitely not on the horizon.  “Why not?” people ask.  Well, this is why…

1) I graduated with my B. Ed in 2012 when I had just turned 25 years old.  This means I was a student in formal education system for TWENTY YEARS.  I took seven years to complete my five year B. Ed.  I don’t regret that, although I’m sure my parents might have a different opinion 🙂 I’m now 26 and although I love school, I don’t see or feel the need to rush back to the role of a student right now.

My parents = the one and only reason I was able to become a teacher in the first place.
My parents = the one and only reason I was able to become a teacher in the first place.
Uni, I loved you, but we need to be on a break right now.
Uni, I loved you, but we need to be on a break right now.

2) Just because I’m not a formal student right now doesn’t mean I’m not learning.  In fall 2012 I completed my yoga teacher training certification (8 weeks, 250 hours) and in summer 2013 I completed my French as a Second Language certification (5 weeks, 110 hours).  These alternative education courses provided me with new outlooks on teaching and learning, while continuing to diversify my skill set. Win-win-still winning.

3) I’ve been busy since I was 9 years old, which is when I started my rhythmic gymnastics training.  On top of participating in a regular public school education, I trained 25-30 hours a week until I was 16 (and even longer hours in the summer).  I had my first “summer off” when I was going into grade 11, but after that it was all about school and getting a job (hello, grocery store employment!) Upon graduation from high school (2005) I enrolled at Okanagan College, where I jumped right in to prerequisite studies for my B. Ed.  I studied at OC for two years and then moved to Victoria to complete my B. Ed.

The year I won Provincials.  Some of these girls are still my best, most closest friends.  I'll let you figure out which one is me :)
The year I won Provincials. Some of these girls are still my best, most cherished friends. I’ll let you figure out which one is me 🙂

4) Furthering one’s education costs money.  Joel and I just bought our dream house (dream = a lot of fixing up needs to happen).  In a matter of months our house went from this (top image) to this (bottom image): masters1Enough said.

5) I loved my B. Ed experience and everything I learned there; however, I didn’t learn enough.  I didn’t learn how to start up a class.  I didn’t learn how to write report cards.  I didn’t learn how to deal with the socio-emotional and educational needs of 26 students at once (I had quite privileged practicum experiences).  I didn’t learn how to collect money for field trips, how to authentically participate in staff and student services meetings or how to manage the task of keeping a house, a husband and an entire classroom happy and organized (I realize all these things are teamwork based, but just hear me out!) All these things I didn’t learn are not the fault of my University, my mentor teachers or my own self…they are simply a representation of how dynamic the teaching profession is!  You cannot learn everything about teaching at University, in a practicum, or in a career’s duration.  Teaching is too dynamic to be fully learned, understood and mastered (at least, this is my humble opinion as a new teacher).

6) Taking point number five into account, I have way too much learning to do in this new career of mine and all this learning takes time and energy.  If I am going to do a Masters degree I want to have time and energy to lend to that focus.  I know teachers who take leaves of absences from their jobs, or move across the world, in order to complete their Masters – this is so not aligned with my life right now.  I think it’s good that I know I could not handle the task of completing a Masters to the best of my ability right now because it shows I’m learning patience and acceptance for what I do have and what I can do.

7) I’m too selfishly in love with my life right now to make space for a Masters degree (trust me, it’s taken me a while to admit that this is OKAY to announce to the world).  Imagine me standing in front of a mirror à la Jessica’s Daily Affirmations.  I love my house, I love my husband, I love my cat, I love my blog, I love my friends, I love my class, I love my job, I love my running shoes, I love my family…I love my whole LIFE (clap!) My whole life is great…I can do anything good…ya, ya ya.

I will do a Masters one day, but I have no idea when that day will come.  I have not researched Masters programs, though I have asked a few questions to some friends who have completed education based Masters degrees.  I want to know more about my  career before I complete a Masters.  I want to have more experience teaching students a wide variety of subjects and topics before I complete a Masters.  I want to live out a few non-education based dreams before I complete a Masters.

“What about the extra money you could be making with a Masters degree, though?” some people ask.  My reply?  I didn’t become a teacher for the money.