When the teachers become the students


Taylor Bravo

Oftentimes, teachers will work for the district while also going to school to earn a higher degree. Pictured above is French teacher Melody Mosley’s degree from Lamar University.

Vivien Zhou, Staff Reporter

Being a teacher is one thing; being a teacher while also being a student can be difficult and require a lot of work and time. However for many district employees, earning an advanced degree can mean working during the day and studying at night, a process that can take longer than normal.

“It took me four years to [earn my master’s] while working for the school,” psychology teacher Elyse Hall said.

Rather than attend a traditional college that involves sitting and listening to a lecture, most employees try online courses as a way to finish their college degree.

“Most school employees choose to work on their advanced degrees while working,” LISD superintendent Ted Moore said. “This would be true for both master’s as well as doctoral programs. I chose to do my graduate work in an online program because it gave me the greatest flexibility. I take one course at a time for eight weeks and all of the learning is asynchronous. This allows me to do the assignments, post on a discussion board, and read at times that fit within my work and family responsibilities.”

Another option is evening or night classes at a nearby university.

“I got my [law degree] from SMU,” human geography teacher Homa Lewis said. “It took me four years through evening classes.”

College degrees can be very beneficial to teachers in the classroom, such as giving them more perspective or aid in preparing students.

“[It does help me teach students] because of content and my [master’s in secondary education] relates directly to the subject I am teaching, as well as some different teaching strategies,” Hall said.

Teachers can use these degrees to their advantage as it can aid them when coaching extracurricular activities and clubs, as well as preparing students for tests and other material.

“I think that [my degree] helps me with mock trial, it helps me on some of the topics that the [curriculum goes over], such as the political geography and economic geography,” Lewis said. “I think that it also helps me connect with students, because it wasn’t that long ago that I was a student, so I remember how that feels like.”

For classes such as foreign languages and AP courses, having a degree is an important element in their diverse ways of running classroom.

“Well, since my class, since I teach French, everything is practical, everything I have learned, as far as the French curriculum,” French teacher Melody Mozley said. “One summer I took a class that was just about the discipline and we studied Harry Wong’s First Days of Class book and it just gave some very sound advice, that I still follow to this day for managing my behavior and discipline in this classroom. The studies I did abroad, that didn’t count for a degree and weren’t part of my curriculum, those were the experiences that I think that have helped me be a better French teacher, because I’ve developed my own skills that I can share what I learned.”

Regardless of what program someone has gone through, the learning never ends.

“I always think that I am still a student,” Mozley said. “I am still learning new things even after I finished college.”