In order to perform to the highest standards, teachers should never halt efforts to continue their own education. However, after teaching all day, working with students after school and grading all night, where is the time?
Well, that is where the value of online degrees in education programs really shines. Teachers can pursue certifications in specialized areas of education as well as masters degrees through accredited programs online. The flexible timetable offered by online courses allows them to put their full efforts into teaching their students, and then complete their coursework from home without having to attend classes physically.
Often times, teachers’ lifestyles are hectic enough as they rarely call it a day when the students go home. Physically attending class is out of the question. In addition, it benefits no one to have teachers that are so burned out between teaching and learning that they cannot provide the best education to their students. Whether pursuing a masters degree, which many school systems require teachers to have within a certain number of years of hire, or certification for special education, math or some other area, online programs can eliminate much of that stress.
Online degrees in education can also benefit the teacher by opening up new career paths in education administration, education technology and curriculum development. Also, demand for special education teachers is booming, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics claiming that "special education teachers should have excellent job prospects," in their Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition.
Many agree that teachers are one of most underpaid group of professionals in the country. Teachers may also have the additional financial burden of being required to continue taking courses at their own expense. Many school systems do not even assist teachers with the cost of taking courses that they are required to complete. Online programs can help ease that financial burden by cutting commuting costs and offering flexibility.
The practical application benefit may be the best of all. Teachers can instantly apply what they learn in online classrooms to the lessons offered in their classrooms. Also, consider today’s students. They socialize online, research online and learn online. A teacher with real experience with online communications platforms can better tailor lessons to students and their needs, including use of email, wikis, blogs and web 2.0 technologies.
Highly trained and motivated teachers adhering to the highest teaching standards serve their students and ultimately, their community. With this in mind, an online teaching education seems like a vital investment.