I decided to go for it and apply to a state university to pursue my Rank I.
For those that are unfamiliar, pay for teachers is separated into four ranks. Teachers with a bachelors degree have a Rank III. A masters degree earns you a Rank II. A second masters or thirty hours after your first masters for a certificate earns a teacher their Rank I. The final rank is for a doctorate degree. In Jefferson County, each rank will earn you approximately an additional five thousand dollars annually. It may not sound like much, but after thirty years on the job, that extra five thousand can really add up.
Deciding on my Rank I has been process filled with doubt. Should I do it? What should I do? I had three main options that I was seriously considering: administration, counseling and library media sciences. Each branch had their own advantages. There are, of course, other avenues to follow. However, these were the three I kept coming back to when I thought of my future in education.
Counseling degrees can take more than forty hours to complete. After considering this with how much I love being in the classroom, I decided to drop it as an option. I had narrowed down my options to administration and the library. Both take about the same amount of credit hours, depending on the school and program. However, what drew me to teacher and drives me every day is my love of reading. I can think of no greater pleasure than being in a large room surrounded by books. Library media sciences was the way to go for me.
So now I play the waiting game. I hope I'm accepted into my program. I'm not sure what I'll do if I'm not admitted. Wish me luck! If everything goes well, I could have a Rank I in the next two to three years.