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Contemplating Doctoral Program

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I currently teach in one of the most difficult positions in what is unanimously deemed the most difficult middle school in my very large school district (not by choice--being new to the district at the end of last Summer meant accepting what was left after most positions had already been filled).  Unless I leave my district, I am ineligible for voluntary transfer for at least four more years, which means remaining in my current school.  I am pursuing concurrent graduate and post-graduate degrees at this time and anticipate completing both in May 2020 barring unforeseen obstacles.  With that said, I am considering applying to begin a doctoral program thereafter and am unsure if this is an unwise idea.  How reasonable or common is it for active grade school teachers to pursue a phD or edD?  Is it even possible given the requirements of such a program, or is it necessary to seek employment as an assistant or similar for those few years?

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I am certified (via my BA and additional Praxis exams) to teach elementary K-6 all core subjects, middle grades 6-9 Math+ELA+Science, and all grades special ed.  I am completing a graduate MA in Leadership in Teaching for STEM post-grad in Gifted and Talented Ed.

I am considering an EdD in Instruction Technology, specializing in either Digital Learning or Instructional Design.  There is a university with that EdD in my county that I could attend.

I'm mostly wondering if people usually maintain employment in grade school classroom instruction or, if not, what options are usually available or advisable (or required, for that matter).

I am still about two years away from completing both MA programs, so I do have time and this is a very new exploration/inquiry for me.

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Sounds like you aren't looking for an academic track (an EdD is often very practice-focused in comparison to a PhD). Given this, it seems a part-time program is reasonable.

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  • 8 months later...

I taught at a difficult school before and I totally understand how you feel. I was exhausted at the end of each day for about three years. 

So, I agree with t_ruth that an Ed.D sounds like a better choice for you because a lot of Ph.D requires you go to school Full-time, and do TA or RA jobs. 

Also, is there a specific reason that you want to stay at a difficult school? If you want, I think with your education and experiences, you should be able to find something in the university when you do your Ed.D. It will be more manageable. 

Anyway, talk to the Ed.D program and ask for more details (class schedules, requirements, time to reach candidacy, on-campus job opportunities).

Take good care! 

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