Many Teachers are Becoming Students Again


Shannon Overby studies for a test for her degree in Journalism. She is attending the University of Alabama.

Madison Hepler, A&E Editor

While many teachers choose to go straight from college graduation to graduate school, it is also very common for teachers to return to school, becoming students once again.

There are different reasons why a teacher may decide to obtain their master’s degree. Sometimes there are new job requirements or financial reasons, but many truly want to improve themselves as educators and as people, so they can perform to the best of their ability in their profession. 

Shannon Overby, an Introduction to Journalism, Newspaper and English IV teacher at Reagan, is currently studying online at the University of Alabama in hopes to receive a degree in Journalism. She began teaching Newspaper last year and decided to return to school to learn more about the subject. 

“I am definitely more aware of current events in the journalism field,” said Overby. “I now know more about media laws and ethics as well.”
Going back to school in many states can financially benefit teachers, but not in North Carolina. In 2014, North Carolina legislature decided to end their policy that grants automatic pay raises to public school teachers who complete their master’s degrees. 

“Even though it’s hard not receiving any pay increase, getting my degree will be worth it because I continue to learn a variety of skills that I can use every day,” said Elementary School teacher Taylor Hepler. 

School and so much homework takes a lot of time, and time can be hard to find for teachers who work full-time and have families at home. Balancing teaching, homework and everything else that life throws at them can be difficult. 

“My husband has to do the majority of the cooking and cleaning while I read, research and study while attending online classes,” said Old Richmond Elementary School teacher Crystal Joyce. “I have to plan out my daily calendar and stick to it in order to get everything done.”

Luckily, online schooling has become more readily available for anyone who is interested in starting or continuing a higher education. With these advances in technology, it is possible to get a full education while life moves at full speed. 

“Online school works very well with my schedule, but it is difficult when you don’t understand a concept. It’s hard to email questions,” said Overby. 

Transitioning from teacher to student is difficult, especially after being a teacher for many years. Some teachers find the idea of learning as a student again exciting.

“I love learning new things and making new friends who share a common bond,” said Joyce. “I like being called a student.”