I like smart. I think there’s nothing better. One common indicator of smart in some circles tends to be the advanced degree. I’m not saying it is an accurate or fair measure of smart. It also could be a measure of perseverance or foolishness or uncertainty, right?
Not long ago, however, teachers began to be encouraged or required to pursue an advanced degree. It became the ultimate in professional development. But some of the best teachers I’ve known weren’t great or smart or innovative or “the best” because they had earned a master’s degree or national certification. They were the best because they simply knew what they were doing, worked hard at it, and were expert classroom managers.
Furthermore, though teachers have been encouraged to earn advanced degrees for years now, some states, such as North Carolina, will no longer be rewarding those with advanced degrees with higher salaries.
So what do you think? Do you hold an advanced education degree? And if so, tell us whether you earned it before or after you started teaching in the classroom. Also, do you think it made a difference in your effectiveness as a teacher? And how so?