OK I need to vent here…
I have been enrolled in the ALM ET program at the Harvard extension school for going on 2 years now. I have been paying out of my own pocket $850/course to get my masters degree. Why do I need the master’s degree? In order to have the “PERMANENT” stamp of approval on my record. Why do I need to become permanent? In order to (a) increase my salary lane (b) stay at my school if I ever took time off (c) be “allowed” to take on certain responsibilities of which I am already capable and pretty much doing (d) be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Yup, I need to pay up now in order to not pay later. But Ill be done with my coursework by then and wont get any reimbursement for what I took as a provisional teacher in order to become permanent. Sigh.
When inquiring today via phone to HR about tuition reimbursement, I was told that all I need to know is “on the website” and nearly hung up on. I was logged into myBPS, and on the HR home page but the doc was not there. In an ever so patronizing way “Uh-yeeeah-aaah”, I was led through the Superintendent’s page (cuz that’s HR?!) and a series of illogical clicks to finally get the tuition reimbursement word doc open – off of the bps web site, NOT in the portal after all. “Uh-yeeeah-aaah” its actually not “on the web site” at all! Exasperation. Sigh. Blech. Done.
Last fall, I was officially accepted into Harvard’s Masters of Liberal Arts Educational Technologies program (ALM in ET). I have been working toward my license over the past 2.5 years in the ITL program there, but it has since morphed into a Masters program. I have been both a contributor to the program’s development, as well as a bit of a guinea pig! I realized that I seem to be drawn to “start-ups” – first iDL systems in 1999, then TechBoston Academy in 2002, and the CTE/ITL program in 2003. I take pride in being an innovator and having a major role in a program’s development, but I do recognize that I can take on too much or be taken advantage of in the process.
I am looking forward to completing the Masters program by the end of next year! I will be able to apply for licensure after my Adolescence class is done (and passed!) this May 10. I am eager to make a decision about my thesis topic – so many are brewing in my head :
1) the role of emerging social media in the classroom
2) the integration of NWCET and SCANS standards into the curriculum
3) professional development : bridging the gap between practice and theory
4) the uses of technology as a teaching and learning tool
5) the new basic skills : what today’s students need to be successful participants in the workplace
6) Assessment and accountability: how do we measure student success?
7) The impact of mass media on female adolescents
…I am looking forward to working on it!