So I took a big plunge a few months ago and finally decided to go to graduate school. I knew I needed to go back eventually, but I never thought I would go back only 2 years after graduating. The increased motivation came when I decided I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up (for now). I had always thought I would teach for about 10 years and then become a principal. Once I began teaching, and ultimately realized that I might not even make it 10 years in the profession, I started to reconsider that principal idea. I don’t think that job is for me – the paperwork, the number crunching, the spreadsheets, the pressure, the laws/rules. I used to think as a principal I could make positive change in a school. Once I began to teach and see what principals do, I realized how much their hands are tied and although they can make change, there is a lot of other CRAP they have to do.
So now I have decided that when I grow up, I want to be…..
Well…there isn’t really a word for it. Ask a 5 year old what they want to be and they will give you job titles…a teacher, a football player, a fireman, a doctor…but I don’t really know the title of what I want to be now. I know that I want to continue to work with kids and that I want to motivate and inspire them to overcome challenges. I know that I went through a LOT of tough times as a teenager and I want to use those experiences to help kids in situations of depression, drug abuse, and confusion. I know that I would love to work at a therapeutic boarding school or psychological facility. So what do you call this? Do I want to be a psychologist? A therapist? A counselor? Or am I still a teacher just in a different setting?
Whatever it is I end up deciding to be, I knew I needed more education to get there. I have started working on my Masters in Child and Adolescent Psychology. The way I see it is, it can only help, right? The hard part about this new idea of what I want to be is that I can’t have a plan. Yes, I can get the degree, but what do I do with it when I am finished? There are no schools like the ones I’d like to work in anywhere near where I live and unfortunately I can’t just up and move (military wives, you understand). I wish I could have a plan…I love plans! But I guess this is not only a lesson in finding myself, but in learning to let go of some f the control and just let things be.
So lets toast to graduate school! Oh, you’re not drinking? You probably should be if you are reading my blog since my life has driven me to the wine bottle. I am only taking one class a term, 2 classes a semester, and so far it is not too terribly difficult. I am sure I will kick myself for saying that later. I do feel as though I am the dumbest person in this class, but thats probably just my insecurity speaking. All I know is that I am trying my best and I can only hope that this process reaffirms my choices.
I will continue to teach for as long as I need to. I will never ever just give up a job without a new opportunity in my hands, but I am planning on a career change somewhere down the line. And really, you never know…I could end up in a new school district next year and start to LOVE teaching again. I hope that happens. Either way, I have started my graduate degree journey and that can never hurt.