Advanced Degrees: They’re Worth It

learningBy Matt Olinski — It seems to me that my best blog ideas come to me at the most inopportune moments – like when I’m driving home from Marquette after my class, or in the middle of the night after putting my 9 ½  month old daughter back to bed and I am trying to get back to sleep.

I often think that I should keep a pad of paper at the ready to write down all the thoughts that keep me awake at night.

The most recent idea came to me as I was driving back from Raynor library and reflecting on my day and my choice to take the final graduate level course to complete a second master’s degree. Half of my cohort finished their graduate program last semester, but I chose to continue for another term to earn that Marquette degree.

It is a lot of work to be sure. It involves writing a complex research paper. But,  I do not have regrets.  Certainly, I could have gotten my principal’s certificate last semester as well, without finishing an additional degree. But,  I take pride in the challenge of this degree program and I want to finish the race.

I  also do not think I am a hero for making this choice. Rather, I believe there are many in the education field who like to rise to the challenge. Part of why we’re teachers is that we like to learn.   It is what makes us take so seriously the lessons we’ve learned both in the university classroom, and hopefully the life lessons we’ve learned while practicing our craft.

I work in a large school with many different personalities. I really cannot think of one colleague in my school who doesn’t enjoy the learning process.  There might be some who struggle with certain concepts more than others, but the continuous pursuit of knowledge is a quality that successful educators inherently possess. I think it is what draws many of us to this profession.

So I drive home late at night after a long day of work, and then a long day of class, with some time in the library after… and I am drained, and my daughter has long since been put to bed (a portion of my life I do not enjoy missing)…

But, the feeling of accomplishment from advancing my understanding of the education field still makes me smile.

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