Natalie Miller wanted to take her teaching career to the next level and assume a leadership role in her school. She decided to enroll in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Master of Science for Professional Educators while holding onto her full-time job.
It’s been challenging at times, but Miller credits the program for fitting into her schedule.
“Since it’s both online and face-to-face, the online portion being during the school year, it doesn’t interfere with the days I have to be at school,” she says. “The night classes allow me to get my teaching work done, and then I can focus on my grad school work.”
Miller also appreciates the fact that the instructors will adapt to her needs.
“There’s been a lot of leeway,” she says. “If something comes up with my career, I can say, ‘Hey I’ve got this going on, can I change something?’ The teachers are very flexible with due dates.”
The M.S. for Professional Educators allows K-12 teachers to develop their skills as both educators and leaders. The two-year program features face-to-face learning over two summers on the UW-Madison campus, where students can work with classmates and build their professional networks. During the fall and spring semesters, the program moves online for the convenience of practicing teachers.
‘All the resources I need’
Miller says every class she’s taken in the program has directly related to her career.
“I have gotten a lot of knowledge about teaching that I think every teacher should have, but a lot of teachers don’t get the opportunity to learn,” she says. “It’s the more in-depth stuff that everybody wants to know about but just doesn’t know where to find. All the resources I need have been given to me to learn that information.”
Among other topics, Miller has studied measurement, classroom management, and legal issues in education.
“The major projects I’ve completed I take back to my school, share with colleagues, and use with students,” she says. “It’s not just something else to do on top of my career work–it’s something that enhances what I’m doing with my career. I think they go hand-in-hand.”
For more information on the M.S. for Professional Educators program, see here.