(Part of @teachthought 30-day Reflective Teaching Blogging Challenge) more info here.
Day 9: "Write about one of your biggest accomplishments in your teaching that no one knows about (or may not care)."
It's difficult to choose something that is both a big accomplishment and is something no one knows about. That's because I'm pretty good at sharing, at least when it comes to the good stuff. :)
Therefore, I'll choose something that some may know about me, but may not know why.
|Master's Degree in Elementary Reading - 2012|
For many years I had excuses for why I didn't pursue my Master's Degree:
*I had just graduated - who wants to go back to school?
*I had young children - I wanted to spend my free time playing with them.
*My husband traveled a lot - so I couldn't go to night classes, and Saturdays he was often gone to football games.
After seeing many of my colleagues finish their Master's Degree, and after running out of logical excuses for why I couldn't do it myself, I decided it was time.
A representative had recently visited my school from Grand Canyon University, and I saw it as an opportunity to take the plunge, and try an online degree.
*Needing a new, reliable laptop computer
*Time - hardly any breaks!
What helped me make the decision:
*The money spent would be recovered within a few years given the pay increase with a Master's.
*I could do my work on my own time (after school, evenings, on the weekends).
*I wouldn't need to travel for any classes or graduation.
*I could finish 8 eight-week courses in 15 months.
I started the journey in December 2010 and finished in March 2012. This 15-month journey was non-stop 8 classes of 8 weeks each. Assignments & discussion prompts/replies were due each week, with each course having 1-2 culminating projects and at least 1 or more group projects. Only time off was 2 weeks at Christmas 2010 and 2 weeks at Christmas 2011.
Even with the time and money challenges, I felt like it was one of the best accomplishments I have undertaken. It took self-discipline, time management, creative solutions, and stepping out of my comfort zone. In the end, I believe it has made me a better teacher and given me confidence that I can take on big challenges.