"Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Since it’s taken some time finding a full-time position in Social Studies, my husband has encouraged me to take more classes and/or acquire another certification. He reasons that if I obtain another certification (perhaps something more popular in a down economy), then I’ll find a job faster. Humanities? Language Arts? Special Education? Go back to school or take a test for what, exactly? What do I want to be when I grow up?
When I was an undergraduate, by my second semester of school, I fell in love with history. I thought I’d be a high school teacher, when a college professor said, “Don’t sell yourself short.” I got my BA in History, and with that professor’s words ringing in my ears, I decided to get my Ph.D. in History. The first year of graduate school was the worst period of my life, but not because of the workload (Which was considerable). Virtually every professor and student spent an enormous effort to show how smart they were, while working to make others feel less so. The only part I enjoyed was being a Teaching Assistant because I got to teach once a week. One day during my second year, I gazed up at the trees, surprised that autumn was in full swing because I’d been too stressed to notice. That moment was an epiphany for me – whatever I wanted to be, it probably wasn’t a college professor.
After some soul searching, I realized that I’d rather teach than research. As a professor it’s publish or perish, so teaching high school was a better fit for me. I completed my Master’s Degree and then began taking courses for my Social Studies certification. Student teaching was rewarding, and I knew I’d made the right choice.
But in recent years, I’ve also found a passion for writing. Perhaps taking the Language Arts state test be a way to combine my love of writing and teaching, plus it would make me more attractive for those Humanities positions. Early this year, I taught an after school creative class to fifth to seventh-grade students, and found the class to be rewarding as well.
So my problem is not that I don’t know what I want to do – it’s that I want to do too many things. Does anyone need a Social Studies teacher? Or a Language Arts teacher? Or a Humanties teacher? Or would anyone want to publish one of my manuscripts? I’m ready to begin.