Oh, So My Education Isn’t Good Enough For You Then?

I’m an educator. I have four year … OK, six years of education (two years of being a theatre major didn’t get me far). I went through student teaching. I have a years worth of experience teaching. But, according to Nebraska … this means nothing.

In Texas, if you wanted to be an elementary school teacher, you pursued a degree in Education. If you wanted to teach secondary, you pursued a degree in your field (ie. English) and a minor in secondary education. In Nebraska, you are supposed to have a degree in Education with an emphasis in your field of study. In Texas, there is an alternative certification program where someone with, say, a business degree can become a teacher. In Nebraska, I can’t even use my student teaching and year of experience as any kind of leverage toward a job or certification.

Now, I’m trying to figure out what to do with this dilemma. Do I re-enroll in a school up here and finish whatever hours I need to have an education degree? Do I get a masters degree in school counseling? Do you need to have years of experience in the classroom before becoming a counselor? If so, I’m back at square one! Should I just get a masters degree in Education so at least I won’t be going backwards in my quest for education?

Working in the Nebraska school system better be a freaking dream if it’s this hard to get certified.


    • Trish
    • September 1st, 2010

    Pros for a masters: higher pay grade and more employment options
    Cons: Major price tag.

    I would check a couple of schools and get how many hours you’d have to take, how much that would cost and compare that to a master’s program and cost. If the extra classes are super fast, I’d do that and then continue onto your masters.

    I looked into school counselor here because I really would love to do that but holy crap you have to have education degrees and background and all that jazz. I’m like but…I have psychology degrees! I know the brain! Frontal lobe, serial killer LOL But yeah, you would most likely qualify for that and I think you’d be such an amazing counselor. You have an amazing ability to connect to people and boy do our teens and children need people like that.

    So basically I think I landed on just checking everything out 🙂 Either way, keep us updated!

    • Yeah, I go back and forth … some days I want to just go for the masters … others I don’t want to do anything … others I want to do something completely different all together!

    • TM
    • September 1st, 2010

    Masters–that way, if you move again, there’s less of a headache with getting certified somewhere else.
    FYI, some districts around Omaha may be an exception, but generally, Nebraska does NOT pay their teachers well…things may have changed, but when I was in school, Nebraska was in the bottom 5 states for teacher pay. A Masters degree would at least give you some leverage.

    • Wow, Nebraska is NOT getting any points from me with this new information! I’ll have to pay money to get a new degree to be certified … and then they pay crappy!?!? Awesome!

    • Christy
    • September 1st, 2010

    I would visit the university near you and ask questions!

    Figure out how many classes / semesters / dollars it’ll take to get that education degree. If it’s two semesters (since you already have most of your basics, etc), then you might consider it. It could be more immediate and could cost less.

    However… I tend to lean toward getting your masters. If you have to go back to school, then it could be more beneficial in the long run. Masters programs are generally about two years (I think?), but open you up to more jobs and a higher pay grade.

    I know you’re disappointed that your qualifications aren’t accepted in Nebraska. But this could be an opportunity to get a higher education in something you really enjoy doing!

    Good luck!

    • Good idea, Christy. I’ll definitely be looking in to the University before I get even more worked up!

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