The Master’s Degree has Been Obtained

In January, I began my graduate career and today it ended. In between, I logged 33 credits plus an additional six credits of supplemental required undergraduate literature. At some point in the near future, I anticipate receiving a diploma in the mail, a physical memento of the achievement.

My internship runs through the 23rd and boy am I having fun with the kids. In theory, I will then get a break before reporting back to Darien on January 24 to begin my twelve week student teaching run.

What I find interesting is that most everyone I spoke with this past year, all congratulated me on this course of action then told me what a waste of time grad school was. For something so universally recognized, it’s amazing the universities themselves aren’t revamping their programs to make them more relevant (and therefore more attractive, enhancing their own reps).

Most of my professors were enthusiastic and well-qualified but all but one of them were woefully out of touch with what is happening in schools today. There are rapid changes occurring that the curriculum has made no attempt to keep up with. For example, little was said about the changes to the Core Curriculum, Race to the Top or No Child Left Behind. We never discussed new trends such as the flipped classroom or the increasing debate over the value of using social media to teach.

There was also a tremendous amount of wasted time by curriculum overlapping one another, leaving other gaps unaddressed. And let’s not talk about how the University of Bridgeport campus was still using overhead projectors in the day of the Smart Board. There’s a lot left to be desired about UB’s lack of uniformity and consistency between what our teachers say and do in addition to general administrative befuddlement. The latter is another knock I hear aimed at most institutions of higher learning and that’s a real shame.

Did it make me any better prepared to become a secondary education English teacher? More that I readily give UB credit for but certainly not as well prepared as they could have. Nothing beats being in a school and the classroom and the teaching has to be in support of that experience.

I never thought I would take the time or find the need to have a Master’s Degree, but now that I have it (with an anticipated 4.0 no less), I will also admit it’s very cool.

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