or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › Dreaming of going back to school?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dreaming of going back to school?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Do you dream of going back to school? Whether it be PhD or GED. Have you done it - are you doing it? How old are your kids?

I'm seriously thinking about it, but can't imagine where the timing would fit in. Right now I'm working full time, enjoying this job but have a hankering for a totally different profession. It would require a master's I don't have (have my BS.) I investigated it and even enrolled before I got pg but the morning sickness and working full time had me backing out in a hurry. I really want to do this but I also don't want dd to suffer. I don't see how we could get by unless I'm working at least part time too! How long should I keep dreaming, and when should I make it real?
post #2 of 22
You don't say how old your children are or how old you are so its kinda hard for me to give advice but I will tell you about my experience.

I got my BS in Special Education before I got married the 1st time. Had a dd who is 17 now shortly after I got married. I was divorced when she was 3 and was a single mom until she turned 15. As a matter of fact, her 15th birthday was the day before my dh & I got married. I worked full time (had summers off - I teach) and coached until she turned 10. I decided then that she was old enough for me to spend the time it would take to get my master's degree. The only way to make more $ in education is to get more education. And I really needed more $. My dd's father has never consistently paid child support. Right now he owes me many thousands that I will probably never see. I quit the coaching so I would have time to go to school so I could move up on the pay scale. I also wanted the intellectual challenge (not that it really ended up being much of a challenge...more like a hoop to jump through).

So, I enrolled in a master's program and went 2 x per week to class. I had LOTS of homework so I spent a significant amount of time at home studying and doing homework. Dd went with me to class and hung out in the student lounge doing her own homework, playing with her Game Boy, listening to music, drawing, and writing. Some professors invited her to sit with me in class & she enjoyed that! Made her feel very grown up. Dd seemed to do fine with what I added to my load.

After earning my master's degree in Educational Administration (Urban Leadership) in '97, I was encouraged by several professors and my advisor to get my Ed. Sp. (Education Specialist degree). These hours would also go toward a Ph. D. in Education if I decided to continue on. I got a dual Ed. Sp. in Special Education Administration and Personnel Management in '99.

In '97, I took a much higher paying position as an Assistant Principal. It is the hardest job I have ever had. I worked 60+ hours per week and had to try to keep teachers & parents happy, as well as my very emotional principal. I worked for a principal who didn't want to be the bad guy so the other Assistant Principal and I had to do all of the bad guy stuff.

I found myself crying on the way to work quite often. I didn't feel comfortable being the bad guy with teachers or with students. Every single day was quite stressful and there was always something "bad" that needed to be done. I would see approximately 15 students per day on behavioral referrals. Teachers at that school did not think they needed to take care of behavior problems in their own classroom. They referred everything, including kids coming to class without materials, to the office.

My dh had never had children and always wanted to be a dad. We talked about the age issue (we are in our 40s) and decided that we wanted to try to get pregnant, regardless of the age thing. But, I knew I would have to alter my career path to do so.

I quit my job and went back to the classroom. I am the special education teacher who collaboratively teaches science with 2 different regular ed science teachers at the high school level. We share the direct instruction duties and I modify curriculum & tests for special needs students so that they can be included in the regular ed classroom.

I currently am very happy with my situation. We were able to get pregnant so we have a beautiful 6 mo. old dd and I can keep a close eye on my 17 yo dd because she attends the same school at which I work. I have good vacations and summers off. I don't mind putting the administration career path on hold since I wasn't much liking the Assistant Principal job, anyway. I'll get that Director of Special Education job that I want when our little one is in upper elementary school.

The only downside to all of this is that all the $ I had to borrow to get the degrees has to be paid back and I don't have the higher paying job anymore that would make it easy to pay it back. My loans are on a forebearance at the moment because of my maternity leave and a medical issue with which I am dealing. But come noext July, I will either need to go back to finish the Ph.D. so I can defer them some more, or start paying them back (given my medical issue is resolved by then).

I guess my message is this (and I think this quote is from John Lennon) "Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans". My path in life seems to have taken so many different directions, many of which I had never planned for, and I continue to be enriched by them all. You just never know what is going to happen to you around the corner.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow! What a path! Thanks for sharing that, you have been so brave in all that you've done! I especially like that image of your dd sitting with you at school, it reminds me of going with my mom sometimes - she went back when I was 12 and I think it was great to hang out at college with her. But she was not working too and I think it was easier timewise than if she were juggling work too. My dd is 5 mo - so you'll all think I'm jumping the gun even thinking about school yet. I guess its on my mind since I am at work all day. Also dh is getting his master's, almost done, so I'm wondering when I get my turn!
post #4 of 22
High school and I didn't see eye to eye,so by the time I was "asked to leave" by my 3rd high school I called it quits.(Im a much different person now then I was then...)Anyways I've tried corruspondence,but I cant find the time for it...sigh.
post #5 of 22
Yes, I dream about going back to school. I think I would get a master's degree in education. I need a career change, but right now I work part time and make good money. I don't want to go back to school yet, because I intend to get pregnant soon.

I also consider staying where I am in my career and working part time and teaching yoga part time. But that is sort of what I do now and my paying career is getting more difficult to feel enthusiastic about. I've been at my job 10 years and NEED a CHANGE!

Really I think I would like to be a SAHM who teachs yoga part time, but that doesn't seem like enough income. I'm plotting and figuring out what I want and when...

Thanks for asking:
post #6 of 22
Last night was my first class. i haven't been for 2.5 years scince before ds#1 was born. I am trying to get my bs in education. This semester I am taking one evening class and one onlie. I am very excited. There were lots of other moms to young children in my class and the two I talked to nurse . We moved here this summer and I would love to get some friends!!
post #7 of 22
Looks like I'm the stupid one in this thread..
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Saige - You are definitely not stupid! I just had to say that! Obviously school's on your mind or you wouldn't have come to this thread, seems to me. I just want to encourage you. High school was a rather awful experience for me too and I know several people who didn't finish for one reason or another. I have never thought they were stupid at all. I know one who got her GED in her 30's and I was (am) so proud of her and in awe of her. I think you have to be a pretty brave person to get through this life wiithout a HS diploma, it seems to be a lot easier in many aspects with one. And clearly you are putting your kids needs first, which is so admirable. Dh has been home with our dd and doing classes online mostly - so I know its really hard to find the time even to study at home with a little one - I guess thats partly what I'm afraid of, why I started this thread. I wish us all luck!

mallory - Congrats! And best wishes in your studies! Sounds like a really cool bunch of moms - what a bonus!

Yogamom - I guess I always assumed from your name that you did teach yoga! Sounds like you really identify with it though and it might be very fulfilling. I would have thought it would earn a good amount of money - good luck no matter what!
post #9 of 22
I left college halfway through my sophomore year. I moved to Italy, taught myself Italian, and stayed there for nearly 10 years. I was import/export manager at a leathergoods company, licensee of Burberrys of London. If you've ever been to Europe you know how popular these ugly plaid purses are over here. Then I worked for Nike for a while (egads! horrible experience!). I've published some books for kids, some poetry and a few short stories. I then taught myself French, and now I work as a freelance translator, a job for which many people have MAs. But this job hasn't been easy; it's still not easy.

I went back to school for a couple of years. Studied international law. Loved it. But then I left for France. I think about returning. But where we will be living next month has been up in the air for the last year! So I wait. In the meantime I question my reasons. Do I need a degree? No. Do I want to learn about everything and anything I can? Yes! If I go back it will be to study English or philosophy or perhaps history.

I don't mean to sound like an intellectual snot; I am not. My point is: you don't need no diploma to do good!!
post #10 of 22
Saige - I just wanted to echo that having a degree has nothing to do with being smart. I know lots of "educated fools" (I work in government) and I know people without degrees that are quick, smart and know how to get things done.

Pina - I do teach yoga, but not very much right now. My government job/"career" is what pays the bills and yoga is what I do for fun. I could make a decent income teaching yoga, but it would mean being away from home most evenings and weekends and driving alot from yoga studio to gyms. With a toddler, that just doesn't appeal to me.

The thing about going back to school is the timing. I would LOVE to take classes, but that time would have to come out of family time and our kids are only small for such a short time.

Mallory - are you doing one class a semester? That seems like maybe I could handle that and it would put me moving in the right direction for a career change. I have a big box of applications for schools here in Chicago with education programs...
post #11 of 22
Thanks for the kind words,guys.Its not so much as I had a bad expeirence in high school-just a little too much of the "high" too little of the "school".I wouldn't even know where to start if I wanted to.I want to homeschool my girls,do you think it will be a problem?
post #12 of 22
Well actually two classes just one is online (sorry about the typo it does look like it should be only), I think I have to go in to take two tests for it. We also really needed some money and scince we made so little last year -dh was in school full time- I get about $200 a month above tuition from grants. I do have quite a few credits from my sporadic college career before kids and should be able to get my associate degree in a year even if I only take two classes a semester. When you are looking at programs remember that you can take classes during the summer, and some times during winter terms. So you really can keep moving along even if you are only going half time. My dream education would be a Masters in montessori from Loyola!! Although I am not in a hurry
post #13 of 22
Saige - you are too funny!

No, I don't think it would be a problem if you wanted to homeschool your child (depending on the laws of your state). Maybe people in the homeschooling forum could answer your questions.

I think you could call your local board of education about getting a GED and/or the local community college. Maybe you could even do it on-line??
post #14 of 22
Yeah, almost all of the college grads I know are total dumbf***s! That's the main reason I have such conflicting feelings about getting a degree. I feel like it's really (too) easy to get a university degree. I would want to go to a really good school (by that I don't mean big, or Ivy, or expensive).

My issue is money. I could conceivably go to the Sorbonne for free. Here you pay only a few fees and your housing. But I would have to start all over. Plus the French "system" doesn't fit me very well. Students are pretty conformist and don't really challenge the professor.

If I stay in Paris I could go to the American University. But how to pay? Their tuition is up to American standards (around 23,000/year I think). I wish there were more scholarships available for someone like me. I'm not even sure you can use American grants or scholarships for this school.

Going to a school that accepts AP tests and credit for life experience, etc. reduces the numbers of credits you need, but then aren't you going to school "just" to get a degree? I don't want that.

I think I'm too confused about it. Maybe I should just wait and go back when my child(ren) has grown.
post #15 of 22
saige - You don't have to have a GED to homeschool your kids in most states - I don't know what the laws are in Canada though. You certainly don't NEED a GED to homeschool, but laws are laws I guess.

I've finished, over the years, about 2 yrs. of college I think. My youngest is 1 yr. old now, and was just weaned, and I'm definitely thinking of taking a class in the spring. I will probably only take one at a time, due to finances, 3 little ones, and my dh's work hours. I'm home/unschooling all my kids so I don't have any desire to have a "job" anytime soon, but I'd like to get my BA, in case I want to do something in the future that I'd need more schooling for.

I'm hoping to go back to Evergreen State College every summer and do one of the 2 wk. intensive courses there, as well as taking classes here. At Evergreen I loved taking the botany and herbal classes, here at a more traditional college, I'm thinking art and women's studies. I'd like to graduate from Evergreen though because there are no requirements to fufill there - just credits - I love that school!
post #16 of 22
Lots of different levels of education--official and unofficial on these boards! I think it just goes to show just how much people grow when life makes them.

As far as going back to school, for me it would be graduate something, and my problem is I'm interested in speech pathology, midwifery, childbirth educator, etc. I don't know what the best path is for me. But I do know that when I get the opportunity I'm going to have a lot more fun than I did in college. I mean with the actual classes . . . I loved college, but I took several courses because I _had_ to, too many, and it is a real downer to never be able to learn something for the sake of learning it!
post #17 of 22
I'm in college right now and have been since my oldest(4) was 9 months and now I have an 8 month old dd too. I'm about to finish up my ba in History and i'mnot sure if I want ot get certified to teach high school or go on to get my masters....it's hard being in school with kids...it's doable but I suggest having lots of support. my dh is also in school and sometimes I don't get the time I need to study and read . That's all part of being a mama in school but I somehow get done what I need to get done with a 3.0. that's not the gpa I want but I also want to be a good attentive mama so I make the sacrafice. Good luck to you.......Stephanie
p.s. HIgh school was so horrible for me that my old friends can't believe I am in college now.....sometimes I can't either
post #18 of 22
I'm 23. I dropped out of hs when I was 17, and got my GED. Since then I have wanted so badly to go back and get a master's. My dd is 3 months old and I've got almost enough credits to transfer to a 4-yr college to start my bachelor's...it's frustrating sometimes, thinking of the long way I still have to go.
post #19 of 22
I went back to school out of the blue two years ago. I had to, my brain wash turning to mush, and I was rather socially isolated in a small town where I didn't connect to anyone (no intellectual conversations). I'm about to graduate with my associates in a couple of weeks. My husband ended up going back to school too. We have opposite schedules so we take dd with us to campus (she'll be three tomorrow!) and she loves it. She has made freinds with so many staff, profs and students, she's like a celebrity on campus. She goes to our multicultural club meetings with us every week, and even had lunch at the presidents house last week when he invited our club over. sometimes she goes to class and plays in the lab while my husband finishes a project. We go to a community college and I think it is totally cool that she was able to go with us like that. Personally, I think it is a great influence on children. I'll be transferring in the fall and am a little sad to be leaving our idyllic situation.
post #20 of 22
I too think it is a great influence on my kids...I have taken my kids to class ocassionally and my prof's have always been very understanding about it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Personal Growth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › Dreaming of going back to school?