Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Mastering the art… April 30, 2013

Filed under: Teaching — Shawn L. Bird @ 9:27 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Today I accepted placement in a Masters of Education program in Curriculum.  I am hoping to study the innovations in the Finnish system, and hope to take advantage of university exchanges in order to travel to Finland to observe their system in high school class rooms.  As I speak passable Finnish, have lived in Finland, and understand the Finnish culture, I imagine this will be easier for me than many North American educators curious about this system that is one of the few that ranks above Canada’s.  (Four  points above Canada, 22 points above the UK, and 25 points above the US in the 2009 PISA rankings).

I was offered placements at two institutions, so it was a bit of decision, but I am looking forward to studying in the intimate and flexible environment of Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

Studies won’t begin until September, which hopefully will provide opportunity to finish the editing of Grace Awakening Myth (book 3 in the series) and finish writing Grace Awakening Destiny (book 4) before I start.  I will be teaching (probably full-time) while I am studying, so I will definitely not have any time to be marketing either book with all my Saturdays in classes in Kamloops for the next couple of years!

Do you have a Masters?  Did you do it full time or part time?  How did you find the process?  Do you have any tips?


26 Responses to “Mastering the art…”

  1. Geo Sans Says:

    I’ve always

    wanted to do my masters


    a few friends


    while teaching

    full time






    but they loved it


    good luck

    and enjoy

  2. deadeyeiris Says:

    WOW! Forget about the Masters, what I am impressed by is your Finnish : ) I have just started studying it on my own, and it turned out to be the hardest piece of knowledge I have ever tried to hammer into my head…

    As to the degree – I have finished one (part time, alongside three kids and a job) and I am now doing a second (part time, the same number of kids, two jobs).So, don’t worry, you”ll survive : )

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      Miksi sinä haluatko oppia Suomen kieli? 🙂 (a little practice for you!)

      I did my first degree and then my teacher training with 2 babies in tow, but I didn’t have to work as well. Congratulations to you for your dedication and effort! What did you do your first degree in? What are you studying now?

      • deadeyeiris Says:

        Olen hullu : )
        that’s what my students and my kids think the reason is … but it’s a nice intellectual challenge, it being a non-indoeuropean language…
        my current masters course is in e-learning, so I will be looking forward to your postings

      • Shawn Bird Says:

        Minäkin. 🙂 Finno-Ugaric is arguably on the Indo-European language tree, but it’s certainly an uncommon branch. (The argument: I guess I’ll need to pull out my Finnish for Foreigners Book 2 and get back to it. Advanced grammar gets me. I also am challenged listening to YLE satellite radio from Finland. I catch every second word, but I frequently miss the sense, because they don’t slow down enough for the river of words to form a pool of understanding. They use a lot of slang, too.

        I declined a placement offer to do my masters degree in distance education; I’m hoping I don’t regret not having the complete flexibility I’m losing, but I’m hoping TRU takes my Intro to distance educ Masters’ course on transfer!

  3. pearlz Says:

    That sounds brilliant! My husband, a teacher always talks about some countries like Finland being amazing for teaching.

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      There are some pretty interesting changes coming through the system here in British Columbia, I’m excited for an opportunity to be part of them through my research and observations.

      • pearlz Says:

        Sounds brilliant, I’ll let my hubby know to check out your blog, if you blog of any of it, or let us know if you publish – all the best, I did a phd in empowerment of Indigenous women through writing, research is a valuable tool in social change.

      • Shawn Bird Says:

        I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it. Good for you on the PhD!

  4. Ishaiya Says:

    Sounds fascinating, hard work too. I wish you good luck! 🙂

  5. eacieri Says:

    Congratulations! You can do it. I got my Master’s while teaching full time and I had just given birth to my second child. To this day my husband turns a little green when I say I’m taking a class. It is a juggling act but if I can do it, you can do it.

  6. yeoldefoole Says:

    good luck!!!

  7. Congratulations! I did a Master’s in Church-State Studies (don’t ask me to define that–the salient point being that yours will of far greater practical use than mine). I did mine full-time, but I had several colleagues who did theirs part-time. I think the thing I enjoyed about it the most was the interaction with other folks who both shared and challenged my interests (some very intelligent people–it was hard to keep up sometimes).

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      One of my colleagues said the same thing, noting that because participants in her M.Ed came from a wide variety of school districts, the stories, district experience, etc were very different. Different viewpoints are so valuable!

  8. j4n Says:

    Take a warm coat, Shawn, mittens and scarves, good boots.

    • Shawn Bird Says:

      The weather is quite balmy in Finland, because of the Gulf Stream. Warmer than I’m used to in my relatively balmy area of Canada, and far less snow. Good boots, though. I’ll work on that. 😉

  9. Congrats! This is great news! TRU World is a leader in exchanges – very exciting prospects! I completed my MA (English) studying fulltime. I only worked in my last year, once the course work was completed and all I was doing was finishing my paper. Its going to be a challenge for sure, but you can do it!

  10. I do and I did it part time ~ it was a great experience ~ I was lucky to have a wonderful supervisor who was genuinely interested ~ I wish you well with yours, Shawn 🙂

  11. Congratulations!! You Go Girl!!

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