For most, summer means sleeping in, spending more quality time with the family and soaking up rays at the beach, but what if I told you summer is also the best time to continue your education?
I know, I know. It’s hard to wrap your mind around how you can balance enjoying time off, preparing for the school year ahead and being a successful student. I didn’t believe it was possible either, but I was wrong. Summer is the best time for educators to start working toward higher education. Read on to discover why.
More Time to Try a New Program
As educators, we don’t work as many long hours during the summer, which makes it the perfect time to test-drive a course and see if you could fit graduate school into your schedule when you return to work in the fall. When I decided to join the American College of Education family, I did all of my research on the college in the spring. The more I learned about the M.Ed. in Educational Leadership program, the more excited I was. The only dilemma was that I couldn’t figure out how I would be able to continue being a successful teacher, a devoted wife and a hands-on mom of two while also earning a degree. At that time, I decided to hold off on enrolling until the summer. This gave me the cushion that I needed.
Think about it: Odds are you’re working in the classroom for seven-and-a-half hours, plus three extra hours after school grading papers and creating lesson plans. Can you think of how studious you could be with 10.5 extra hours a day? And guess what? You don’t need 10.5 hours a day of studying and completing assignments to be a successful student. You can put that extra time toward your summer faves!
Greater Focus for an Online Program
Let’s face it: During the school year, our attention is often divided between deadlines, parent communications and professional development seminars. Over the summer, we have more energy to devote toward the personal goals that we may have neglected while we were busy taking care of others.
When I enrolled in summer classes with ACE, I was amazed at how motivated I was. All of a sudden, I was filled with a renewed sense of focus. Enrolling had been a goal of mine for years, but for years I felt I would be too tired from my school year to focus. That was not the case at all! Not only was I focused, but I was eager to channel all the information I was learning and put it to use in the classroom when the school year started.
Increased Flexibility for Coursework
You can take your study material, assignments and your class with you wherever you go. You don’t have to be chained to your home because you have to report to class at a certain time every day. You can read while on the way to the beach (unless you’re driving, of course). You can post a discussion comment after spending hours tanning, and you can watch your lecture presentations after binge-watching your favorite Netflix series. Summer vacation doesn’t stop just because you’re a graduate student.
When I made a decision to start a summer term with ACE, my summer vacation was already planned:
- Spend four weekends at the beach
- Visit my hometown in Hollywood, FL, for a week
- Fly to Ohio with my family and enjoy STEM Stations, museums and shopping for a week
- Attend a family reunion
- Celebrate both my husband’s and daughter’s birthdays
- Enjoy a two-day girls’ trip with my friends
- Read three Frank Perritt books
- Prepare my classroom for the new school year a week before returning to school
My class started on June 13, 2016 and ended on July 31, 2016. I enjoyed all of this while being enrolled in summer classes. Yes, that’s right; your summer can still be priority! After starting my new school year on Aug. 7, I honestly felt I could handle enrolling in another course, so I did on Aug. 22.
It is always good to maximize your opportunities and experiences. Think of how amazing it would be if you returned to work in the fall to share stories of your vacation and learned that you and your coworkers all enjoyed the same things, but you took it a step further!
Maximize your summer by starting graduate school. For me, enrolling in classes in the summer was the best decision I made. It alleviated all the stress and anxiety I had about continuing my education, because I started it during the season that afforded me the most time, focusing ability and flexibility. The secret is to plan your vacation first and then plan your studying and work time around it. Using this strategy is the main reason why I am an ACE graduate with highest honors today. I believe you can be next. Start your summer courses today.