Hi everyone, I’m at a huge crossroads in my life and I really don’t know what to do. I have a degree in Political Science, and it’s gotten me nowhere other than the fact that it’s a degree and I graduated with high honors. I’ve started working more in education and did some childcare programs, some nannying, then I worked in a therapeutic behavioral school for a year as a Para. I absolutely loved this experience and I learned so much, and I decided that teaching was something that I loved and that I was good at. I live in Illinois, and my state has a program where it pays for any degree in Sped, so my masters program this fall is completely paid for. It will last 3 years. However, the other piece is that I LOVE working outdoors. I love working with kids, adults, everyone outdoors and showing people that Illinois is more than just cornfields and Chicago. I have this dream to integrate Sped practices and inclusive education into outdoor spaces and build an outdoor therapeutic program for kids with ACES/trauma or sensory issues or behavioral issues. I feel so drawn to this field. My dream is to head up an education program at a Nature center.
So, my question is, do I need to do this Masters Program? It’ll make me more hireable and I would make a higher salary, and having formal teaching experience is something that a lot of these job applications are asking for. I know that experience is another way to break into the business but it’s increasingly hard to find a job right now.
On top of everything, I just moved into my first apartment by myself and it’s… expensive. So whatever job I find is gonna have to pay me more than the $15/hr I was making as a Para, and I can’t waste time doing whatever while I’m in school or I’ll go completely broke. 👍
For all of you that have gone through this and forged your own paths, what do you think? Should I do the masters program and get the licensure? Or should I try my luck at finding a job first?