Monthly Archives: October 2016

A Masters Degree in Education

Teachers make a difference in the lives of kids all over the world every day. However, the prospect of entering the teaching profession and remaining in it for the next 30 or more years can be a daunting one. Whether you’re worried about landing a job in a competitive market or about making enough money to support yourself once you’re hired, getting your master’s degree can offer a smart solution. Let’s count down four reasons why all teachers should consider graduate studies in education.

1. You’ll increase your earning potential.

While many teaching jobs require master’s degrees, others may call for just a bachelor’s degree. In this case, getting the bare minimum can hurt you in several different ways. Not only does it lower your chances of getting hired when you’re up again more qualified applicants, but it also means you’ll likely end up collecting a higher starting salary.

According to The Houston Chronicle, most school districts offer teachers with master’s degrees across the elementary, middle, and high school levels supplemental pay in the form of a “bonus” or “bump.” According to analysis by the Center for American Progress this averages between an extra $3,000 and $10,000 a year! And while the cost of getting a master’s degree can seem prohibitive, the degree can pay for itself in just a few years. Not only that, but most school districts require continuing education credits — doesn’t it make sense to put those credits toward a degree?

2. You’ll enjoy greater career mobility.

While a bachelor’s degree may qualify you to be a classroom teacher, many other school jobs  require advanced credentials. If career advancement is important to you, a master’s degree is a must-have. Whether you’re looking to work as a school administrator, curriculum director, content/subject area specialist, or school counselor, you’ll likely need a master’s degree or more.

Additionally, a master’s degree can also open up new possibilities outside of the school system entirely. From textbook authors and community college teachers to educational consultants and educational researchers, these sought-after, well-paid professionals almost always have upper-level qualifications.

In addition to helping you move up the latter, a bachelor’s degree can lead to broader career prospects, which can be an effective defense against teacher burnout — a pervasive phenomenon among today’s hard-working teaching professionals.

Politics of Christmas

Deck the halls.  Hang the mistletoe.  Stuff a stocking.  Christmas has long been associated with merriment, joy, good tidings, maybe a plum pudding, lots of presents, comfort… and controversy.  Yes, it’s true.  Join us as we travel back in time and explore some Ghosts of Christmases past.  Hold onto your Santa hat.

Medieval Christmas: Misrule or Misery

Christmas in the Middle Ages was a lot different than Christmas today.  For starters, it was not the biggest holiday of the year – that honor went to Easter.  And while medieval Christmas was, to some extent, a Christian feast day the period surrounding Christmas preserved much older traditions. One such tradition? The reversal of societal norms. From boy bishops to the Lord of Misrule and the Feast of Fools, medieval Christmas was often a topsy-turvy time.  But the misrule wasn’t always good natured. Christmas could be a terribly dangerous day if you were not a Christian.  While medieval Europe’s Jewish population faced persecution year-round, the Christmas period was sometimes marked by increased hostility against Jewish communities.

Victorious against King Charles I, the Puritan Parliament of 1647 canceled Christmas.  The principle: if it’s not in the Bible, it’s not Christian.  Merriment?  Forbidden.  Feasting?  Fasting.  Shops?  Ordered to stay open.  Churches?  Shut down.  Ministers preaching on Christmas?  Arrested.  To Puritan England, Christmas was Pagan and distinctly “un-Christian.”  On Christmas Eve, 1647, the House of Commons ordered local militia committees to protect shopkeepers (who had no legal choice but to open) from ‘Affronts, Abuses, and Prejudices’ by ‘Malignants’ or ‘Others’ who may have opposed the Parliamentary order.  What about the colonies? Christmas was outlawed in Massachusetts from 1659-1681.  Punishable by a harsh fine, or worse.  Oh, and the carolers?  They formed an underground…