The time I decided to get my Master's Degree and it blew up in my face

After taking some years off to stay at home with my daughters I decided it was time to go back to work and show my girls that mommy is one smart lady who can hold her own. Well, to much frustration, getting back into the working world was slower this time, snails pace to be exact. After months of doubting myself, regretting taking that time off and considering career/self-esteem counseling, I decided to do what any other crazy stay-at-home mom does - go back to school.

I have always thought Teaching was a great profession and I've always wanted to get my Master's Degree.  I like kids and would love summers off even more.  I enrolled into a Master's program that included a teaching certificate and completed the 1st semester with flying colors.

My favorite thing I was able to take away from the whole experience is how much I love to write. I probably wrote 12 essays covering topics from the history of education to the new political uncertainties education faces today, with Betsy DeVos being the current US Secretary of Education and the voucher program that she wants to implement- God help us all.

My love for writing and blowing my professors away with my brilliant essays wasn't enough though. Turns out in the state of Illinois, if you want to be licensed as a teacher you have to have a score of 22 or higher on the ACT and you need to have taken the ACT within the last 10 years. The last time I took the ACT was about 15 years ago.

So, queue the horror movie music - I had to take the ACT all over again! Mind you, I've been out of school for quite some time so I had to get a tutor and re-learn high school math, science, english and writing.  No pressure, but I had to get a score of 22 or higher within 6 months of being enrolled in the program or I would politely be kicked out!

So, I studied and studied.  I basically locked myself in my house for months and took 5-hour long practice tests without breaking, because when you're taking the test for real you can't take breaks. I got a tutor, paid him close to 2 grand and was on edge to the point where I couldn't sleep.  Yeah, it was rough.

Other states don't have higher ACT score requirements to become a teacher and most colleges accept students with a score of 18. I believe IL is the only state that is crazy strict. My advisor told me that when other teachers move to IL for a job transfer they have to take their ACT all over again if it's been longer than 10 years and they scored lower than the mandatory 22 - what an insult to those teachers!

Sorry to disappoint you all but I failed the ACT with flying colors. I didn't get the 22 the state required so I decided not to re-enroll and just eat the $7000 I spent on the 1st semester. All the stress and sleepless nights is for the birds - not for me. But maybe it wasn't all for nothing because I became a writer again and loved it.  Maybe it was all meant to happen.

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