Monday, April 30, 2012

Do You Ever Want To Go Back in Time and Smack Some Sense Into Your Self?

In 2001, I graduated from community college with my associates degree, packed up, and headed off to the Show Me State for some higher ejamakashun.  I didn't have a real plan in mind.  I liked music and loved singing, so I picked a music degree.  Sacred Music to be exact.  Now, what I was going to do with this degree I couldn't have told you.  Perhaps I thought it didn't matter.  Maybe I figured I'd just end up getting my Mrs. degree and start having babies and not ever have to worry about silly things like jobs.  I don't know.  Maybe I wasn't thinking at all  Many professors advised against it.  "Go with music ed, Lauren.  You'll thank us some day." Nope,  not I.  I wasn't going to become a teacher.  There was no way on earth I was ever going to want to teach.  Sure, I'd taught preschool the summer before. Sure, I'd wanted to be a teacher when I was a kid.  Sure, I loved children.  But come on, why would that mean I wanted to teach? After all, I was going to be a...a...a...well, I'd figure that out later.

Fast forward 3 years to May of 2004.  There I was in cap, gown, and pink tassel.  I had done it.  I earned my degree.  I even graduated cum laude.  Go me! There was just one problem.  What on earth was I going to do now? I'd never actually figured out what I wanted to do with my life.  My coursework had prepared me for church music ministry, but I really didn't think that was what I wanted to do.  In fact, I couldn't think of anything I really wanted to do.  That whole Mrs. degree thing hadn't really worked out either.  I felt lost.  It was time to say goodbye to some of the greatest friends I'd ever had.  It was time to say goodbye to late night frozen custard runs and practice rooms and mid-terms and dorm life  So long as I was still in school, I had time...I could figure it all out later.  Now, later had arrived, and I was terrified. 

I tearfully loaded up my belongings and headed home with my family.  I knew that once I got home, I'd have to figure things out.  I had no clue what to do.  After I'd been home just a week or so, I got a call from the preschool where I'd worked the summer before.  They needed a teacher. Was I interested?  Well. what else did I have to do? I needed a job, and here one had fallen right into my lap.  Why not take it? After all, it wouldn't have to be forever.  I'd figure things out soon. 

Fast forward 8 years...almost exactly.  Here I am, still getting my paycheck from that same preschool.  Did I stay because I loved it? For awhile I really did.  I found the first couple years of teaching VPK to be very rewarding. Eventually, the behavior problems in our school got too bad, and I got burned out.  I left for awhile to be a nanny, but eventually ended up back at the preschool.  Once again, it was supposed to be temporary.  I was just going back while I figured out what to do next.  I wouldn't be there long.  Just another...4 years...

Well, as I said in my previous post, I've put in my notice.  My plan is to stay until the end of the school year.  I have no job lined up, but in the past few weeks, I think I've finally decided what I want to do with my life.  I think...I think...I want to be a teacher...

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