Author Topic: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?  (Read 2237 times)

westtoeast

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Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« on: August 03, 2016, 03:54:14 PM »
Removed-- thanks to all for the input!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 06:00:29 AM by westtoeast »

MakeSmarterDecisions

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 05:32:10 PM »
As someone with a doctorate in Educational Leadership (with a focus in decision analysis), I would first ask if you are really interested in being a curriculum leader or an administrator? I have done both and then decided that my real love was the classroom! Also, do you have any idea what state you might be moving to?

MrsPete

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 07:34:45 PM »
As a fellow teacher, I have a number of thoughts:

- The math is clear:  You will earn more if you have this certificate.  I do think it's worth postponing home ownership for the short term.  If you're going to do it, do it now; the sooner you have the certificate, the sooner you're earning more.

- In my state we have principal internships that pay you to go back to school and earn those certificates.  Investigate ways not to pay out of your own pocket. 

- About which certificate to earn, you've been in the system for three years -- are you clear on what principals do?  It's VERY different from a teacher's job, and pretty much they deal with negative things all day.  However, LOTS of teachers burn out in the classroom, and the principal certificate would allow you to go in a completely different direction. 

- You say you might leave your state within a couple years.  You know that's teacher suicide, right?  Because we're state employees, we are tied to our areas.  To max out a teacher pension, you have to stay long-term, and if you leave your state, you start from year zero again.  So you're talking about earning 7-9 years in MA ... then leaving that behind and starting over again on your pension. 

NV Teacher

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 07:49:37 PM »
It all depends on what direction you want to take with your career.  Do you want to be an administrator or curriculum specialist?  I've found that the best administrators are the ones that spent many years in the classroom and have a strong teaching background.  It's challenging to work for someone that only spent a few years teaching and really has no clue about what teachers deal with on a day to day basis. 

The second thing to consider is if the certificate will transfer to other states when you move.  If the program you are looking at doesn't have a degree it may not be accepted in other states.  I belong to a couple of teacher Facebook groups and I'm shocked by salaries in other states, 20 years making $38,000/year.  It would be very discouraging to do the work and not get the pay raises.

esq

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 08:29:54 PM »
- You say you might leave your state within a couple years.  You know that's teacher suicide, right?  Because we're state employees, we are tied to our areas.  To max out a teacher pension, you have to stay long-term, and if you leave your state, you start from year zero again.  So you're talking about earning 7-9 years in MA ... then leaving that behind and starting over again on your pension.

Stay in your state, whether you decide to get the cert or not.

westtoeast

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 09:47:40 PM »
Thanks all. Great to hear from other teachers.  I do need to decide which position I am ultimately interested in and I'm hoping to do some self reflection over the next year before applying. I do agree that the best administrators have lots of teaching experience.

Unfortunately I will have to leave my state. My family and BF family are on other side of the country and I have no personal ties to the area. I moved here after college on a whim and just haven't made it back yet. I know the pension thing sucks... I'm hoping my next district offers buy back. Oregon, Washington and Michigan are states I may end up in. Not the best paying.

mozar

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 06:25:23 PM »
Well I think you should move sooner than later than. So you can restart the pension earlier.

MrsPete

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 05:46:00 AM »
Well I think you should move sooner than later than. So you can restart the pension earlier.
Good advice.  If the move is going to happen, you're wasting your time and efforts currently. 

This tied-to-your-state thing is a big negative about teaching, and -- in my experience -- it's something to which teachers don't pay enough attention.  I work with two teachers who put in 10-12 years in another state, then moved here.  Neither really gave much long-term thought to the retirement ramifications of those moves, and both were rather surprised to see how moving affected them financially. 

westtoeast

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2016, 07:24:30 AM »
Do you all think that it's worth moving sooner even though my pay will likely decrease between 10,000 and 20,000? My plan has been to take advantage of the high MA salary for the next few years so that I can crush my student loan and save up a down-payment... then I would move to a lower COL area and put that money down on a house.

But now I'm wondering if this plan isn't the strongest due to the pension issue. Is two years a big enough difference in pension to make an immediate move more savvy? I feel like I've gotten myself into a pickle, but I appreciate everyone directing my focus to this. I certainly don't want to start fresh on my pension in 10 years.

Thanks again everyone!



NV Teacher

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 08:01:29 AM »
Do you all think that it's worth moving sooner even though my pay will likely decrease between 10,000 and 20,000? My plan has been to take advantage of the high MA salary for the next few years so that I can crush my student loan and save up a down-payment... then I would move to a lower COL area and put that money down on a house.

But now I'm wondering if this plan isn't the strongest due to the pension issue. Is two years a big enough difference in pension to make an immediate move more savvy? I feel like I've gotten myself into a pickle, but I appreciate everyone directing my focus to this. I certainly don't want to start fresh on my pension in 10 years.

Thanks again everyone!

You need to find out how many years you must work to be vested in the retirement system in Massachusetts.  If it's five years then staying three more to be vested might be a good option.  But only if you crush all of your student loan debt and leave with a BIG chunk of cash.  If it's ten years leave now and get started building your retirement elsewhere. 

MrsPete is correct.  Every school that I've worked in has teachers that are 65-70 years old that have to work because they flutter butted around to different states and never built up their retirement.  I love my job but I certainly won't be doing that.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 08:09:21 AM by NV Teacher »

SeaEhm

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Re: Continued Education for Teacher-- Worth It?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 08:23:19 AM »
Will these credits transfer with you to other districts to help you with their salary increase?

I heard a story about a teacher who had a law degree and those credits did not count for a salary increase.

If the credits would transfer, I would highly suggest getting them as soon as possible.  If they increase your salary $6,000 per year, that means an extra $500 per month gross.  Like you mentioned, it would take 3 years to pay it off.  Calculate the interest paid on that loan for 3 years and see if it exceeds the $18k that it would help you so you don't fear the debt.

I agree with other people to get back to where you want to live AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

I was calculating pension for a friend and was shocked at how much his life would be different with one, two, and three years of more pension.

Assumptions:
$10k salary
2% pension
1 working year

In conclusion
$10k salary = $200 per year   (assume 30 years of retirement = $6,000 total gross)
$20k = $400 per year (30 yr = $12k)
$40k = $800 per year (30 yr = $24k)
$60k = $1200 per year (30 yr = $36k)

So each year at a $60k salary means that you are potentially losing $36k over the course of 30 years in retirement by working one less year for that pension.


(math experts - am I close here?) hahaha