It’s easy to get into the routine of teaching. Helping troubled students improve, guiding A-students to higher heights, and managing a classroom each day is all-consuming. But occasionally it’s a good idea to take some time to consider your own career, instead of focusing only on helping your students excel in their academic careers.
When was the last time you took the time for professional development? Have you always wanted to go back to school for your master’s but the time was never right? If you’ve never considered getting your master’s degree or put much weight on professional development, you’d be surprised at its many benefits.
Become a Subject Matter Expert
It’s great when your students are curious. But it can be a little embarrassing when you’re caught off guard by a question you don’t know the answer to. When you go back to school for your master’s degree, you’ll learn about new subjects that may not have been developed yet when you were last in school. By expanding your own knowledge base, you’ll be setting yourself up as a subject matter expert for your students.
Consider going back to school in the same field in which you teach. Becoming a subject matter expert means you’ll be able to spice up your lesson plans with new knowledge, trends, and methods in your field.
Discover New Teaching Strategies
Even if you don’t go back to school in the education field, but instead choose to focus on your passions, continuing education gives you a chance to be the student again. Instead of trying to improve your teaching skills from the viewpoint of a teacher, you’ll be able to analyze your professor from the viewpoint of a student.
Analyze your professors. What strategies do they employ? Do they hold the class’s attention well? Even if you get a professor that’s not so great, they can still be a great lesson in what not to do. Consider taking notes not only on the class material but also on the teaching strategies your professor’s use. Analyze your own behavior as well. When do you drift off? Could it have been prevented?
Getting your master’s degree is a great way to improve your own teaching skills- whether or not you go back to school for that specific purpose.
Keep Up with Emerging Trends
The STEM field is always changing. New technologies emerge, scientific discoveries are made, and old ways of thinking are slowly let go. When you teach from the same textbook year after year with a mostly unchanging curriculum, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with emerging trends in the STEM field. Even reading the news each week won’t get you the same level of knowledge on emerging trends as earning your master’s degree would.
Going back to school not only gets you up to date on emerging trends in your field, but it can also give you hands-on time with new tech or trying out new methods. Many universities partner with different companies to perform research and development on new brands, products, tech, and methods. That means that studying at the right university will let you try out new developments before they become widespread.
The best part of keeping up with emerging trends is getting to incorporate new trends into your lesson plans for your students. By going back to school, not only are you making yourself more on trend, but you’re helping your students leave your classroom with an edge most other kids won’t have.
Make New Connections
For many students, one of the most important parts of any university is the alumni network. Oftentimes it makes up the difference between Ivy League schools and your average university. Alumni networks have helped new graduates get their first job or promotion. It can be hugely helpful to someone going back to school as well.
Making new connections means furthering opportunities for later on in your career or meeting someone that it may be valuable to bring into your classroom. Your new connections don’t just have to help you but can help your students as well.
Making connections may sound difficult; it can be hard to meet people as an older student, especially if you take classes online. However, you can join societies, online student forums, study groups, or even career fairs. Check in with your universities career center. Many centers will have online alumni networks where you can reach out to graduates via email.
Find New Motivation
Don’t undervalue just how much earning your master’s degree can add motivation to your career. When you fall into the same routine every day it can be easy to lose motivation to try new ways of teaching or look for those emerging trends. But learning new things, building your own knowledge base and meeting new people can help you reinvigorate your teaching.
Getting your master’s degree can make you feel ready to try new strategies, more able to answer tricky questions, and ready to tackle each day fully prepared.
Change Your Career with MCLFS
Continuing education can change your career for the better. Frederick CREST has partnered with the University of Maryland to offer you the Master of Chemical and Life Science Program. Unlike most master’s programs which are pretty rigid, the MCLFS program is designed to be flexible and to support teachers who are coming back to school.
The research portion of the program can be undertaken right here in Frederick through research-based institutions that have also partnered with CREST. Courses are offered online and there’s even an option to take “Current Topics in Biomedical Research” if you’d like to brush up on your emerging trends.
Taking MCLFS is highly-recommended for any teacher in the STEM field. You’ll receive a huge return on your investment- and best of all, you’re investing in yourself. You’re readying yourself for the next step in your career, angling for a promotion, a raise, or even just staying on the cutting edge of your field.
When you sign up for the Master of Chemical and Life Science Program, you’re investing in yourself and your students. Reap the benefits. Sign up today.