Education: What do you have your Master’s in? How did you manage going to grad school while full-time teaching?
I got my MEd in Ed Admin my first year teaching using a schedule much like GWALP: teach all day and once a week (Thursdays for me), drive about 30 minutes to a private school campus they used for class meetings for up to 4 hours of class. Over the summer, classes were accelerated and we met twice a week for 6 weeks so that we could have a break toward the end of summer vacation: usually June til school started up again in mid-August.
Each course was about 12 classes, and I took two per trimester, finishing in two years. Classes were mostly group work and presentation-style: a lot of students teach other, a lot of discussion, and a final paper for each.
Stayed with the same cohort group of classmate teachers for the duration of the program, started with 13 of us and ended up with 11. One girl dropped out after the first two classes, another moved with a semester to go.
Managing the course load wasn’t as hard as I expected. Reading added up but was manageable. Got to schedule our presentations for each course at the first class meeting or so and plan it out with a partner or alone to manage our time. Papers took the most time, but I consider myself a good writer and usually got them knocked out in a Sunday afternoon then looked over them after school a day or two later for edits.
I don’t think I’d advise a first year teacher to do it (and that was against the rules but my boss supported it and filled out appropriate paperwork), but my charter school environment and supportive co-teacher and (especially!) my boss made it doable. A few other teachers from my school later went through the same program, citing that I “made it look easy”. Not sure if that’s necessarily fair, but I will say that it wasn’t as difficult as I expected.
I am not a public speaker type- leading my class is so much different than presenting to groups of teachers who have more years of teaching experience than I have been alive, and I found the presentations stressful until I got used to my cohort. Probably the “worst” part of the experience for me.