When I Grow Up

I’m officially 34 years old now, and as I look back at the last year, I feel pretty awesome about what lies ahead.

I talk about school a lot, but I rarely get specific. I’m studying public relations and marketing, but I’ve also inadvertently used my electives to study health sciences.

I guess it’s weird to be a student at my age, but I like it. In fact, I love being in the classroom, and recently I joked that if I could get paid to go to school, I’d do it forever. Then a light bulb went off in my mind. I could be a teacher.

I’ve always joked that I like money too much to teach, but under the right circumstances, it could be awesome! It would give me the opportunity to help others learn, and it would also create a level of stability in my career that I haven’t experienced up to this point. It would also allow me to spend time traveling, which is something that I enjoy. (I’m writing this post from a plane too.)

Living in New Orleans has been a better experience than I ever imagined, but I can see myself moving on at some point. Why not get a teaching certificate first?

I love learning, and there’s something so awesome about seeing a child who didn’t think he could do it realize that he could. (I experienced that earlier this year, and I’d like to again.)

I realize that it takes a certain kind of person to teach, but I think it’s something that I’d be good at. My mom was a teacher, and my sister is a teacher now. Maybe it runs in my blood?

If I go into teaching, I’ll still be involved in other things, but I think that’s okay. I realize that it’s an important decision to make before I commit to getting certified, but I have a few months to think about it. I’ve just been thinking about it a lot recently, and it seems like a great idea.

Are there any teachers reading this? If so, what made you decide to become an educator? What do you love about it? What do you wish you could change?

15 thoughts on “When I Grow Up

  1. oh, kenlie!!!!! what a light you would shine in the classroom!!!! as to why I went into teaching………..I love people; I love to be involved in life and lives;I love to “help”; I love to read; I love to learn; I love to share life with others; I love to see “the light bulb come on” in another’s life;I love to experience the light bulb going on in my own life: I love to be active; I love newness in each day; I love to pour into the next generation….ta-dah!!!! teaching—- a beautiful synergistic canvas God created on which to “paint” and express my loves. keep me posted!!! ou just came out with a “scholarship program” where the selected education students commit to teach in Oklahoma; each year of teaching equals $5,000 toward education debt incurred…..just like medical schools do for rural doctors!!!!

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    • You are certainly a teacher who pops into mind who helped shape my life. The others are Mr. Croft from jr. high and Mr. Mason. :)

      I’m so thankful for you and for the outpouring of love that extended long after Spanish class. :)

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  2. I love my job as a teacher, but it’s not the job I thought if be doing when I decided to be a teacher. Teaching is incredibly satisfying at the end of the year, but can be pretty demeaning and exhausting in the details of everyday life. There are plenty of students I feel like I’ve inspired and helped, but there are also a lot of students (and parents) that have made my life miserable. I don’t want to be negative, because it truly is an amazingly rewarding job, but I also hate seeing teachers spend years in school getting licensed only to get burnt out within a year or two. If you can, I’d try to spend a week with a teacher. A friend of mine thought she knew exactly what she wanted to do, but after spending a week shadowing me, she changed her mind. She’s still going to be a teacher, but special ed instead of high school science. Really living a few days is the only way to get a better grip on what it would be like. Be sure that whoever you shadow shows you the good, bad, and ugly!

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  3. Hey, Kenz.

    I’m not a schoolteacher, but my father and maternal grandmother were teachers. What I’m going to tell you, tho, is more from the knowledge I’ve gained thru my own years tromping the halls of higher ed, my own career, my fathers passed on wisdom…and seeing friends do it the wrong way.

    A teaching certificate vs a teaching degree. As you know, they are two different things. All states are different, so I can only speak for Pennsylvania, but often people who pursue the arts or sciences or math are led to believe that they can get their degree in their chosen field and tack on the needed credits to get a teaching certificate…and, well, teach alongside those with real teaching degrees.

    In PA, they usually can’t. Legally, they can–but in practice, it is rarely done. I could name three people off the top of my have tried it and just couldn’t get into the local high schools. One IS teaching, but in a small Christian school. He teaches top notch high school science for about $32,000 a year. (The going rate here for “real” high school teachers is between $57,000 and $72,000 a year.

    He’s a longtime friend and I remember telling him when he was pursuing his science degree/teacher cert not to do it that way. At the time, there were all of these news stories about how high schools were desperate for science teachers and were paying top dollars for science degrees and had that certificate. That science majors were preferred because they knew science better, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. It went about as well as I had expected.

    Now, where that changes, of course, is if you go on to get a PhD in your field. THEN you can be a professor. Depending on the school, you may be able to teach while pursuing your PhD. Some schools let you teach while doing your master’s work–getting paid and getting a free education, too. (Personally, I had a grad assistantship and tutored while I earned both Master’s degrees, getting my tuition paid for along with a stipend.)

    At any rate, do your research well before you decide how to schedule your coursework.

    Deb

    P.S. Remember, many careers involve teaching. Like mine. Educating clients is part of a counselor’s job. So is doing training seminars in your area of expertise for other professionals. The degree you’re pursuing may easily incorporate enough “teaching” to satisfy your teaching bug.

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    • I’m lucky to have several teachers in my family so I’ll discuss it further before I make any firm decisions…

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  4. I like Deb’s PS posting above. There are all sorts of teaching and training opportunities out there you could do in the field you love. Good luck.

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    • I have a few friends who are currently teaching while they pursue a Ph. D. so it seems like a great way for me to stay in the classroom.

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  5. I spent 8 years working as a genetic engineer. I enjoyed the challenges bit missed interaction. I became a public speaking coach for a science team through an enrichment program. That is when I realized that I loved working with kids and science combined. I quit my job and went back to school at 29 to become a teacher. Mind you I had just gone through a divorce a year earlier and was completely lost and on my own. It was a tough 2 years but I found a great program that allowed me to student teach and get my masters while getting a full time contract for 5 years. I am very grateful that I made this change, best of luck in your journey!

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  6. I’ve thought about a certificate a lot over the years. I have always enjoyed the part of my job when I get to train others. At the same time, I love seeing the reaction on little kids faces when they figure something out for the first time. For me, I don’t think a person can have enough knowledge or degrees. Go for the certificate, at least you have other opertunities to fall back on.

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  7. I’ve been reading your posts for a while now and I often wondered why you are not a teacher. You seem to love the atmosphere.
    I can also see you getting into public relations and marketing, you are very creative and have some great communication skills.
    It’s a hard call for you as I can see you have many options.
    Are you graduating soon?
    Do you have a job lined up?
    Good luck
    PS, I love reading your posts
    TC

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  8. Kenlie, as an old friend who occasionally reads your blog, I wanted to let you know you aren’t alone and you can do it. Be the best you, you can be.

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  9. Okay, I’m still getting caught up on my Feedly, and I am a few days behind, obviously, but as an educator, I wanted to throw my thoughts in.

    I have taught high school, and I’ll be honest – it wasn’t the greatest. (I’ll also say that I had poor administrative support.) However, I found my calling in adult education, which ultimately led to me teaching at a university. And bonus perk? Free tuition. :)

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