Last year, I was looking for a job in the Health Education/Health Promotion sector and was coming up with nothing. I didn’t have the experience in any one area to get a foot in the door and I didn’t feel ready to go out on my own. The only real opportunity presented itself was to join a teacher training program and earn my teaching license. So, I went for it.
Today, a year later, I realize that this opportunity was such a gift but not in the way one would expect. Teachers spend so much of their own time and money to educate our children. They spend their family time grading papers, updating grading systems, creating engaging lessons, planning extracurricular activties, and documenting their own learning and teaching for school and state agencies. I earned a great amount of respect for the teachers I worked with who devoted so much time and energy to caring for other people’s children. I also learned how hard, and rare, it is to be a GOOD teacher, especially if the appropriate supports are not in place.
In my program, I worked about 60-70 hours a week, consistently from August -June. I went in early, stayed late, continued to work when I got home, worked with students during most free blocks and after school, worked all weekend long grading papers or developing lesson plans. It was A LOT of work. I really, really enjoyed the kids but I didn’t enjoy the disconnect from my own family. I lost the balance in my life.
So when I graduated I decided I would teach part time, if the right position teaching health came available. Nothing has popped up yet. Who knows if it will. I am okay either way.
Was this a waste of time? No.
Then why did this opportunity present itself? Here are my thoughts…
- I needed to realize how much time I was truly willing to take away from my family at this stage of my family. I can wait a couple years until all the kids are out of the house to work full time.
- My husband needed to realize that me working full time would negatively impact him and his ability to work and travel.
- I think he also realized that I really did do an awful to make everything run smoothly.
- I learned what it means to create engaging lessons.
- I learned the importance of asking questions
- I learned the importance of taking risks
- I realized how much I enjoy teaching teenagers.
- I realized that my photo wellness program is really important to me.
- I became comfortable presenting information and standing in front of an audience.
- My career goals are to be able to do a variety of things/projects…like expanding my photo wellness, health coaching, high school health education, and writing my blog. I would get bored only doing one thing all the time.
- I can do anything I put my mind to.
- I have really good instincts.
- Teenagers have GREAT energy and ideas and we dont give them enough credit sometimes.
- It is possible to have a successful school or a relationship with teenagers that is based on respect, kindness, and acceptance without relying on discipline as the means of “control”.
- I need balance in my life… I can really fall into over focusing on tasks and lose myself and my priorities.
- I have a GREAT respect for working mothers and teachers. I think I would like to develop a coaching plan that helps them make sure they take care of themselves.
- I learned all about our education system, english language learners, learning differences, differentiation, academic success, and student stress.
- My kids still need me.
- I need my family.
Although I am not gainfully employed as a teacher, that is okay. I may or may not get that opportunity. But I gained perspective, appreciation, skills, knowledge, and confidence. That is worth its weight in gold. I am in a much better position to help others now.
Sometimes we are put on a path but not for the reasons we think.
So if a good opportunity presents itself.
Go with it.