Saturday, August 28, 2010

Starting the 18th Grade

About a year ago, a friend (whom I won't mention by name in order to protect her identity) asked me if I was interested in accompanying her in going back to school to obtain my Master's degree. To be perfectly honest, I had never truly considered going back to school. This seemingly complacent attitude with my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University (Go 'Noles!) isn't because I don't love learning, I do, after all I am a teacher (it's sort of what I do). Instead, I attribute the delay in getting my Master's due to the amount of high-quality professional development that I have received at the elementary school where I am so very grateful to work. Along with the amazing school-based, totally relevant professional development that I receive at my school, I am also a bit of a self-proclaimed workaholic. I didn't think I would have time to juggle all of my leadership duties at work, teach my heart out to my kids, and go back to school as a student.

I knew that this type of endeavor would require careful consideration as it would be a major financial investment and time commitment. As with many other big decisions in my life, I decided to phone a friend and one of the smartest people I know, my mom. The conversation went something like this:

Me [on cell phone in clothes department of Target): "Mom, I am thinking about going back to school to get my Master's Degree."
Mom: "Awesome, how much will it cost and how are you going to pay for it?"
Me [cringing]: "Upwards of $15K..."
Mom: "Over a lifetime that's not that much, I think you should do it. It will be worth it and you'll be done in no time."
Me [in my head]: Damn!

The twenty-something, I just want to enjoy life, part of me, wanted her to advise me not to do it. That would have been the easy way out because I've learned that mom's usually right. Although I knew what my goals were for the future (to teach pre-service teachers) and knew that going back to school was an important step, even if it would mean that I would have to give up my Monday nights and a few Saturdays a month. The next day I bit the bullet, knowing it was the right choice.

I enrolled in Jacksonville University's College of Education under the Instructional Leadership and Organizational Development program (say that 5 times fast). Remember that aforementioned anonymous friend? Yeah, she enrolled too. Thank goodness she did. Don't tell her, but I am sort of glad she bent, no almost broke, my arm last summer as she convinced me to go back to school. Thanks Melissa. :)