Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Continuing Teacher Education

There are four different ranks for teachers in Kentucky. Rank III is the lowest paying for teachers with a bachelors degree. Rank II, the level that I hold, is for teachers with a masters degree. A Rank I is for teachers with thirty hours past their first masters, which can be a second masters or a special certification. The highest rank is for teachers who hold a doctorate. Each rank increases a teacher's salary by about $5,000 a year, except for the move from Rank I to doctorate, which is just over $2,000 a year.

When I was in graduate school, my classmates would constantly talk about what we'd get for our Rank I. Administration? Counseling? A special certification in ESL or ECE? None of them particularly appealed to me. The one that called to me, and still does, is Library Sciences. Why?

There are a lot of reasons I'd get a Library Science degree. I'd like to get a Rank I that I'd actually use. I don't want to just get the degree for the raise, especially considering how much work goes into one of those degrees. Even if I didn't get to work in a library, I could definitely use the skills I learned in a Library Science program in my own English classroom.

Another reason I'm drawn to Library Sciences is because you definitely get to maintain a relationship with a wide variety of students at the school. Our librarian knows almost all of the students who are in the library daily, literally hundreds, by first name. She can recall favorite books for most of them. I'd love to be able to foster this type of relationship at a school.

And finally, the books. I'd love to be surrounded by so many books. I'd love to be in charge of ordering the books and encouraging young adults to continue their love of reading. If I should ever need to leave the classroom for whatever reason, I know the only home for me would be the library. Perhaps the library is the natural place for tired English teachers to rest.

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