Recently, I have found it to be very interesting the number of people who come into the field of teaching not as their first profession or what they went to college to study. I am not discrediting any of these individuals; however, my experience was not like that. I consider myself really fortunate. I have known I wanted to be an educator since I was 4 years old. Yes! For the past 20 years, I have known what I wanted my destiny to become.
Being a male though, I think by middle school and definitely by high school, I was afraid to tell anyone what I truly wanted to choose as a career choice. Especially as an elementary school teacher, many see it as a female profession. Also, I was told many times I had too much intelligence to become a teacher by family friend and even some educators. I remember we had to discuss what we wanted to do with your lives outside of high school in many classes. I would always say I wanted to be a neurologist. People had this expectation that I was going to be working in the field of science or medicine. Unfortunately, they truly did not know me. At the time, I absolutely hated the subject area.
While I lied to many through my teeth as to what I wanted to become, I never did change in my mind what I really wanted to be. By my senior year of high school, I realized then, I did not have to live up to anyone else's standard, but my own. I truly began to open up about my long term goals. I honestly did not care what anyone had to say or think. Looking back on it, I am glad, I did open up. It was amazing how many people were shocked, but congratulated me on my decision considering many said they could never do it.
As I also think about my journey thus far, I also think back to applying to college. I remember when I was getting ready to apply, I was thinking about my major. I had it all mapped out. I wanted to major in Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University (although Boston University was my Dream school at the time) with a minor or double major in Marketing. I know that is a big jump in fields; however, I felt I had always been creative and could be very influential when I wanted to be. I also thought it would provide me with more options as a career choice. For example, if I did not like working in the elementary level, I could teach high school career and technical, or even leave the field of teaching altogether and work in the field of business. Georgia State's Early Childhood department unfortunately, does not allow students to double major. As a result I was forced to choose. I was left thinking, do I go where the money is or where my heart is? So of course I went with Early Childhood.
I am glad I made that decision. I have learned a lot about myself, effective teaching practices, and even made great connections with other fellow educators with whom I can share and learn information. I have realized over the years this is my passion! I am programmed to think of creative lessons and ideas at the most random times. And to know you are making a difference in someone's life...no amount of money will ever be as rewarding as this feeling is! The most important idea I realized through my journey over the past years has been, teaching and educating are not just a job (although for some it is unfortunately) and it is more than a career...IT'S A CALLING! I am truly blessed to be working with my passion, my calling!