Christine Ducz is the Little Reading Coach. In this interview she demonstrates how her graduate degree has boosted her career and allowed her to open her own tutoring business.
1. What is one sentence you would use to describe who you are and what you do?
A Reading Specialist (P-12) working individually with students to help cultivate their love of reading.
2. Did you take the GRE? If so, what was your experience studying for the GRE like?
No, I did not take the GRE. Luckily, it wasn’t required for my program.
3. Why did you decide to go to grad school? What program did you attend? How did you choose your specific program?
I decided to go to grad school for a couple of reasons. I love learning, and I knew I wanted to continue to dive into specific areas in the education field. I also had a goal of becoming a Reading Specialist and curriculum supervisor, which both require an advanced degree in my state. I attended University of Phoenix and went through the Curriculum and Instruction/Reading program. The program had both components that I wanted (curriculum and reading). I wanted to complete my degree online because I was teaching full time and tutoring after school, so I needed flexibility. It was convenient being able to work on my assignments during my preps, nights and weekends. I also did not want to take the GRE, and UoP did not require the test to be admitted into the program.
4. How do you feel your graduate degree has impacted your career?
Having my graduate degree allowed me to get my Reading Specialist endorsement, which has opened more doors for me professionally. I served as a literacy coach for a K-8 school, working with teachers and students to help revise the ELA curriculum school-wide and provide intervention services. A year ago, I started my own online tutoring business supporting readers and writers one-on-one in grades 3-12. In my individualized sessions I am able to help students improve their reading and writing skills and self- confidence.
5. Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing a career in education?
Make sure that you truly have a passion for education. There are always meetings to attend, lesson plans to write and assignments to grade, but having that passion makes it all worth it.