Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Thinking About Being a Teacher

Are You Thinking of Teaching as a Career 2

Because I hope to be forthright with these commentaries, it’s possible you may wonder if I like teaching. You may be asking, if she doesn’t think teaching is a good career for the money, then why did she become a teacher?

I have been teaching my whole life. While, I’m not one of those people who looks at going into education as a calling–more power to those who see it that way–simply put, I have been teaching my whole life. I came this way. But most of the time, it wasn’t for money, or much anyway.

As a kid, I taught swimming lessons. I’ve had violin students off and on for decades. Taught sign language to teenagers. Acting for a children’s theater conservatory. In my church, I have taught every age group and type of teaching that is done, from helping others learn teach how to teach, to music and everything in between. I’ve taught workshops and writer’s groups, horsemanship, given guest lectures, written and directed plays for elementary schools. (Okay, that was a bit more like herding cats but it was still teaching.) I’ve even taught music conducting and hand embroidery. Need it taught? Give me a minute, I’ll figure it out.

That is who is am. A teacher and a storyteller.

Teaching makes sense to me. It’s like a superpower. I can read a class, sense the needs of individuals and adapt what I’m doing and how I’m saying it to reach them. On the fly. I can sense when to pivot (Education jargon alert! Sorry, just had to throw one in) and come at something at a different angle without hesitation. No, not every time. LOL…but generally.

I express myself by wanting to share my excitement over cool things and I do it by using my love of learning mixed with a generous dollop of performance. Teaching is something I enjoy. It gives me energy. Brings me joy. 

There is another more pecuniary reason that took me into education as a profession. I needed consistent insurance. My then-husband worked in IT in project management and he was perpetually (it felt like that anyway) being laid off. One project would finish and we were suddenly struggling looking for another job. It could mean months of fear and worry. I had children and we needed insurance. I was happily working for a national bookstore chain, but not making a whole lot and thanks to a changing world, it was going under. I had heard that teaching was a safe and steady career that meshed well with raising a family. It paid more than working in retail and for an entire year, I would be able to make sure my family was medically covered no matter what arose with my spouse’s employment.

Only one problem. I didn’t have a teaching degree. 


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