Saturday, October 22, 2011

Missing higher thinking

I miss college. 

This week allowed for plenty of higher thinking for my students, but relegated my position to facilitator since I’m not interested in engaging into political debates with 17 year olds.  It’s really good for them.  But for the old teacher that enjoyed the stimulating political debates, it creates an ache to go back to the academic environment that pushed my thinking and writing.  Alas, I’m confined to discussing the occasional political issue on Twitter.  Not that it’s bad or anything, but nothing really beats being in the room with people who are engaging each other in the art of conversation. 

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I want to eventually gain a Masters Degree, preferably in subjects I’m very passionate about (History, Poli Sci, maybe Ed Tech).  But I’m looking at the financial cost/benefit of doing so and it looks fairly impossible.  If schools really want teachers with advanced degrees (and not this ‘buy your Masters of Ed’ crap) then the amount of pay sure doesn’t show it.  My school district offers something like an extra $700 a year for a Master’s Degree, and I believe $1,000 a year for a PhD.  That’s a joke.  That means if I spend the $20,000 it would cost to get a Master’s Degree, I wouldn’t even break even by the time I’m retired.  I’d be doing it for my own satisfaction, only I can’t justify spending that kind of dough on a piece of paper that says I’m supposedly smarter than the next guy.  I can just watch and follow along with Yale or Stanford’s open courses and bada-bing, I gain knowledge at no financial cost.  Not that it helps my finances though, because I can advance my skill set as far as I want and the school district isn’t going to do much to compensate me for it. 

Oh well.  Guess I’m going to have to continue my journey of self-study with my books, my Kindle, and the Internet. 

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