Omg I do this all the time when I think about what I want my life to be like after grad school.
YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A PHD.
SO PEOPLE WILL ALLOW YOU TO TEACH THE CLASSES MAYBE?
WHEREAS I’M JUST KIDDING MYSELF INTO THINKING I CAN GET AWAY WITH IT.
SHOULD I LOOK INTO GETTING A PHD SO I CAN TEACH THINGS I WANT TO TEACH?
WILL THEY MAKE ME DO RESEARCH INSTEAD OF JUST WRITING BOOKS AND HAVING FUN?
(This reply quickly became too long for an actual reply…)
So, I am going to be super honest about what I am thinking about this right now, which may or may not be what you want to hear, so I apologize if it is not. I really don’t think that getting a PhD actually allows one to teach thing things that one wants to teach. Some of the reasons for this are bureaucratic within departments (i.e. paying-your-dues-by-teaching-intro-classes, having to meet enrollment and teaching hour quotas, having to get the classes you want to teach approved by the department and the university, etc.). The other big one would the the but-what-if-I-don’t-get-a-tenure-track-position-and-am-an-adjunct-for-the-rest-of-my-life adventure.
But yeah. I keep getting excited about ideas for classes that I want to teach and whatnot, but then have to bring down the excitement because I know that the if and when of those things is extremely uncertain. (I am of the “if your dreams are less specific, it is more difficult to be disappointed” camp.)
So, I guess what I am saying is that having a PhD doesn’t necessarily equal teaching what you want, and not having a PhD doesn’t necessarily equal not teaching what you want. That is just my understanding based on Archaeology, anyway…it could be different for English/Creative Writing/etc.
And THEN there is the fact that having a PhD makes it more difficult to get a number of jobs, because suddenly you are “overqualified,” which is just as bad these days as being under qualified.
I dunno…that was super disorganized and I apologize, but I guess my point is that I think things are relatively flexible. I don’t think it is impossible to get a job teaching what you want with a Masters! But I also don’t think that, if what you want to do is teach things that you like to teach, a PhD is necessarily the way to make that happen.