Brittany Busch
Brittany Busch

Better teaching, bigger impact

As a special education teacher, Brittany Busch wants her students to have the best. For her, that includes being the best. It’s why she’s earning her M.Ed. at Northwestern so she can expand her teaching toolbox with the most current knowledge in special education teaching and advocacy.

My desire to teach is really rooted in the fact that I love to learn and my biggest passion is instilling that in the kids I teach; can I get their curiosity up, can I get their engagement level up, their excitements, their passions. I'm always trying to put things in front of them that make it so fun to learn so that they can continue learning throughout their whole life.

Now that I've been teaching a few years, taking my masters has become more applicable to what I'm doing. I can do an assignment on Wednesday evening but then implement it in my classroom the next day and I love that I can take what I learn and apply it right away. Taking my masters has been a wonderful transition because everything makes sense and I can tie a strategy to a behavior that I have in class.

All across the board, every teacher needs more and more education in special education. We are getting students who just have more needs today. How are you going to support these kids who aren't able to engage or aren't able to self-regulate or have a learning disability? These kids are coming into our classrooms and we need to know how to best support them so they can be successful.

The Northwestern master's program has made it easy to balance. Everything is laid out for me at the beginning [of a week] and I can read ahead to see what assignments I need to have prepared or what I need to be thinking about as I take the class. Everything is so applicable that it makes it so much more motivating and easier to complete. This master's program has also helped me to relate to my colleagues and peers. When we work in special education, we're also working with a big team of people. Being able to effectively communicate and teach our teams how to work with these kids too-- is huge.

I want to know that my education ties into my faith and that my job has purpose. Northwestern does a really great job of integrating faith. When I would respond to a post my professor might say, "I really love how you're tying in your faith to the class, please continue to do so". And I feel like it's at my own pace so wherever you're at spiritually they're going to meet you there. They're not going to push it too much, but they're also going push you if you want that challenge. So it really is individualized to what you want faith integration in your master's program to look like.

The Northwestern faculty and staff are so personable. I have been able to send e-mails back and forth regularly. Their responses to posts are very personal to what my assignments and work was. They give great feedback. I feel uplifted and I feel like I can really be a leader in the field of education. I feel more confident in my leadership abilities and in my knowledge of education and not just knowledge but the most current knowledge and the most current research. If I could encourage someone to do their masters, I would say do it, it's worth it! Take a step out and do it!