By Teachers, For Teachers
It seems like just yesterday that I was a third year teacher, pacing the classroom floor during my planning period, wondering how I would give my students that sacred “A-ha moment.” I wanted them to get it— to understand the concepts I was teaching them. I wanted them to pass the state test. I wanted to close the achievement gap. These wants quickly created a tall order, forcing me into a brick wall just as quickly. Coincidentally, I remembered the brightly colored paper that was put in our boxes regarding Gardner Webb’s Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction online program.
Gardner Webb’s Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction program is a North Carolina online master’s degree program for teachers who are seeking to enhance their effectiveness as an educator whether that be in the classroom as a teacher, or outside of the classroom in a myriad of other roles to which a master’s in Curriculum and Instruction gives one access. After reading posts like this one, and performing other research, I chose Gardner-Webb. In making this choice, I understood that Curriculum and Instruction as a course of study would enrich my pedagogy as an educator, while also placing me in a role that would help intensify the instruction of those around me.
With a master’s in C&I, an educator can decide to remain in the classroom and simply lead their classroom in newfound instructional frameworks such as Understanding by Design (UbD) or action research. Perhaps the teacher will use his or her degree to improve the way in which they assess students. You can also serve in more formal roles, such as a Department Head, or on the Leadership Team. The difference is that in a formal leadership role, the teacher is serving outside their capacity as a teacher. This makes them responsible for creating a rigorous curriculum for teachers of that content within and potentially outside of the school, while simultaneously ensuring that the instruction of that curriculum is properly implemented.
In my case, my master’s led to a promotion from teacher to teacher leader, which progressed my impact beyond my classroom, into my grade-level team, and the school at large. Upon earning my Curriculum and Instruction master’s degree online, I was immediately designated as a leader in professional development. More specifically, I was appointed to deliver professional development on collecting and utilizing data, as well as differentiation. Moreover, the master’s in Curriculum and Instruction permitted me to serve on the district’s English curriculum team, where we worked collaboratively to create a cohesive high-school English curriculum for grades 9-12. Within my classroom though, earning my Curriculum and Instruction master’s degree online allowed me to refine my practices with respect to assessment, differentiation, and overall planning and implementation of curriculum.
I pursued a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction online to ultimately serve as an Assistant Superintendent of the state overseeing curriculum and instruction. Gardner-Webb’s program has sufficiently prepared me for the fundamentals of this role, and with the experience I gain, I am confident that my effectiveness as a classroom educator will follow me all the way to Raleigh.