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Hello all, It's been quite some time since I've been on the site, but I remembered the great discussions I had on the site over the summer, and thought I'd try to get back into them again. A little background on me: I am in my third year of substitute teaching. I had two long-term positions my first year, in a very tough district, and haven't been able to find something full-time since then. I've been applying to places left and right, and currently have applications in for three different long-term positions right now. Aside from that, I decided to start my Masters degree this May. I am just about halfway through with the program already and will graduate with a degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology in July. My decision to begin a Masters program came for a few reasons: I'm not guaranteed a full-time position like I was lead to believe upon graduating from college. Most teachers land full-time jobs, teach for a few years, and then have the luxury of completing a Masters program for free because of being reimbursed by their school entity. I felt I can't sit and wait and hope for a full-time job just to have a district basically pay for my education. Second, I'm certainly not getting any younger! I had imagined myself getting a full-time job straight out of college and being able to start a Masters program shortly after that. However, now that my last few years have been different that I expected and my future is also changing, I am looking towards the future for new reasons: marriage, a house, a family (eventually). I would much rather have my Masters complete and out of the way, so that when those milestones do develop, I can focus my attention on them, rather than schoolwork. All in all, my question is, was my decision to start this program now really a wise decision? I coordinate a program for 3-5 year olds on Saturdays and had a conversation with a parent, also a teacher, who is one class away from her Masters, but hasn't had luck in our area finding a job because of where she will fall on a pay scale. For me, going into next school year, I wouldn't be starting at the beginning of a pay scale - I'd be a "first year" teacher, already with a Masters degree, which would technically warrant more money than a typical first year teacher. I've already heard many opinions on my decision to pursue a further degree. I'm hoping that it not only benefits me, but that it looks admirable to an administrator - being that I haven't seemingly sat around and waited for opportunities to come to me. What are your thoughts...?