A Thank You Letter to My Master of Arts in Education
Dear My Very Own Master of Arts in Education (MAEd),
I am writing to thank you for your impact on my career and personal life. When I decided to sign up for you, I was a second-year teacher with a newborn baby. I was overwhelmed and trying to quickly learn my two new roles in life (special educator and mom). It was crazy town! At that time, the VERY LAST thing I was thinking about was continuing my education. MAEd, I had no idea I needed you, but I did! Because I am thankful for you, I would like to share how you’ve changed my life!
- Lifelong Learning: You, MAEd, provided a pathway for me to begin my journey as a lifelong learner. As a teacher, I was (and still am) in love with school! Whether I am in the classroom as a student, teacher or administrator, experiencing and witnessing collaboration, connection and learning is inspiring to me. You allowed me to be a student again and confirmed my love of learning.
- Improved Instruction: As a student taking required courses for you, my MAEd, I was able to tap into my sense of familiarity and my nerdy student self! I increased my knowledge base in the field of education and improved my instructional skills. Since I love learning, it made sense to keep learning and help others learn in the process. As an example, one night in class, I learned about multiple intelligences and the very next day, I was able to assess my learners and develop strategies to meet their learning needs based on their strengths and needs! THE VERY NEXT DAY!
- Interest Based Learning: While I worked through my plan of study for you, MAEd, I was able to choose elective (concentration) courses based on my areas of interest. I took courses on conflict resolution, brain based learning and other topics that actually applied to my role as a special educator! During my final capstone project, I chose to learn about and apply concepts and strategies specific to my interest area of service learning. It was refreshing to have choice in my professional learning.
- $$$: Not to be forgotten, MAEd, you allowed me to make more money! As a new teacher in 1997, I was making $28,000 per year. Because I completed you early in my career, I estimate that I have earned $244,000 more in salary alone over my twenty-years in education. That’s a quarter-million dollars! Personally, this allowed me to obtain financial security and ensure my two children had their needs met as a single parent.
- Pride: After completing you, I became proud of my expertise and wanted to share what I knew to further the learning of colleagues, students and families. Only 9.3% of people in the United States of America have a master’s degree, and thanks to you, I joined that group in 2000. I have a sense of personal and professional pride surrounding my education, and it still feels great when someone is impressed by the fact you and I are pals. What makes this even better is that due to my education (including you, MAEd), I have opportunities to share what I know through presentations, trainings, course creation, improved instructional skills and informal conversational exchanges with stakeholders in education. I am proud of the fact that I am able share my expertise - something that would have been impossible without you in my back pocket!
So, thanks again MAEd. I am grateful for you! Please know that I would encourage any educator without an MAEd to research and enroll in a program as soon as possible to find their own reasons for bringing you into his or her life. I’ve only shared a few of my own. It is with absolute certainty that I can say getting an MAEd is well worth it!
To learn more about our Master of Arts in Education and Special Education Programs through Augustana University, please visit our website.