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Options in Advancing a Teacher's Career

A Special Education professional, behavior coach, writer, freelancer and most importantly a mother making life simple and fab as possible.

Teacher Career Advancement

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When a teacher makes the decision to advance their careers in education, they will need to pursue a graduate-level degree. Now, the common dilemma faced is whether to pursue a Master of Arts in Education degree, Master of Education or a Master of Arts in teaching degree.

Truth is, all programs have their own merits. Teachers working for credits on their profession will find that each do yield such credit. What becomes more important is which type of degree program fits the teacher's long-term educational goals. It is therefore, necessary to ask how the teacher envision their career path.

Let's look at the three programs more closely.

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

A Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT, is a degree most often pursued by people who have completed a bachelor's degree, and wish to pursue further studies in their area of specialization at the graduate level while becoming a certified teacher.

Simpler said; the Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT essentially serves the same purpose as a bachelor of education. Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT can also be an alternate route for those who already attained a bachelor degree in different fields but desire to become teachers.

It will also best suit teachers whose motivation is to continue working in the classroom. Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT coursework is directed at improving teacher performance through such topics as methodology, strategies, teaching styles, identifying the diversity in student learning styles and creating differentiated instruction and assessments. Also, Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT learning is directed in the teacher's chosen major area or specialization of teaching.

Now, a teacher's salary is commonly based on seniority and level of education. The teacher applicants who have opted to complete a Master of Arts in Teaching, or MAT, rather than Bachelor in Education (BEd) or Bachelor of Science in Education (BS Ed), are often considered more desirable candidates, and start their first job higher up the pay scale.

Master of Education

Practicing or current classroom teachers who are looking for career growth generally go for the Master of Education or MEd. The Master of Education (also known as the MEd or EdM) is generally considered a practical degree designed to enhance the professional practice of working teachers. In fact, most teachers deciding on the Master of Education or M.Ed. stay in the classroom. However, it is not uncommon that the goal is towards the path to becoming a specialist or consultant. It can also be as a preparation to move into school administration, leading to a principal position.

Also, Master of Education or MEd offers several different concentrations. Some common Master of Education or MEd. track are Special Education, Educational Leadership, Adult Education, ESL (English as Secondary Language) and Psychology.

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Master of Arts in Education

And of course, there is the option to complete a Master of Arts in Education. While the Master of Education or Master of Arts in Teaching is taken by educators and teachers; many of those who choose to pursue a Master of Arts in Education are not practicing teachers. They are people with an interest in educational studies. Most people who complete a Master of Arts, or MA, in Education (MA Ed) may carry out research on topics as varied as anti-racist pedagogy, LGBT subcultures, and the impact of social media on education. MA Ed finishers may be found in the non-profit sector, a government agency, or opt to continue their studies in education by completing a doctorate in education.

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