As the pendulum of educational trends swings to and fro, bringing different strategies, methods, and buzzwords, differentiated instruction stands the test of time. By pursuing a master’s degree in differentiated instruction, teachers can create opportunities for their own career advancement, along with many other benefits.
What is Differentiated Instruction?
With increasing diversity in classrooms today, it is more necessary than ever for teachers to be able to individualize instruction. Differentiated instruction is what great teachers do. Those veteran teachers with years of experience and consistently great results – what are they doing to achieve that? Differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction is simply meeting the individual, educational needs of your students. This requires knowing your students and assessing where the gaps are in their learning. Sometimes, for advanced students, it means providing more challenging activities, enrichment, or higher reading level materials. To be able to effectively implement differentiated instruction, teachers must be able to assess their students’ needs and know how to modify plans to meet those needs.
Earning a master’s degree in differentiated instruction can provide teachers with many benefits and opportunities for career advancement, including:
- Job opportunities. A master’s degree in differentiated instruction will make any candidate for a teaching position more appealing. As the need for individualized instruction increases with the rising diversity in classrooms, principals are in need of educators that have the knowledge necessary to provide the assessment and modified lesson planning required for the diverse students in today’s classrooms.
- Career Advancement. A degree in differentiated instruction will also make teachers more likely to be considered for various career advancements. Many school districts hire reading specialists, both at the school level and the district level. Reading specialists must be experts in differentiated instruction, as they work with students at all levels in order to fill in the gaps for students lacking necessary skills. Also, an increasing number of districts are hiring instructional coaches to provide support for their teachers. This is another possible career option in which knowledge of differentiated instruction would be invaluable.
- Increase in Salary. In most districts, an advanced degree means a salary increase. In many cases, a master’s degree can mean anywhere from a 1% to a 9% increase in salary, and possibly more depending on the state and district.
- Job Security. A master’s degree in differentiated instruction can also mean greater job security. As a more specialized professional, teachers achieving this level of expertise will be more valuable to the school and the district, making it less likely to be cut when budget issues arise.
- Become a Better Classroom Educator. Finally, and most importantly, earning a degree in differentiated instruction makes teachers better! By acquiring the knowledge of differentiated instruction, teachers unlock the secret to success of many experienced teachers, and are able to better meet the needs of their students and provide them with every opportunity for success.