Wednesday, 28 November 2012

On Careers, Teaching and Education

When I was a kid I would often pretend that I was a teacher. Sometimes it was with my little human friends and other times with my little non-furry animal friends (I was allergic to dust). It wasn't my favourite game but I must have liked it enough to remember it now. Other times I would play that I was a bus driver, a stay-at-fort mom, a cook, a scientist, etc. I didn't have to choose the game that I would play for the rest of my childhood. I mean, asking a child to make such a choice would be crazy! So it was all great, I just focused on the present and eating as many mangoes as I could get a hold on. I looooved mangoes. 

Oh how I wish things were as simple now! Even in University... The idea of making a career choice was there, guiding every academic and extracurricular choice, but it remained just an idea. It is only now that I am out in the "real world" that the perceived modern obligation of starting your career ASAP has punched me in my face and the option of pursuing teaching has come back to me.

It seems like a sensible. I already have some experience under and I am really loving teaching English in Perigueux. It’s challenging and rewarding. I have fun preparing lessons. I like drawing my own flashcards and illustrations. I like picking the right song that will help them learn how to count or introduce themselves. I like hanging out and drinking coffee with SOME OF the teachers during breaks. These are simple things, and although they’re not my favourite things, I enjoy them enough that going to work in the morning is actually something to look forward. The kids love me too. 

Would I want to do this forever though? Having my own class and teaching the same curriculum year after year. Playing the same games over and over again? Dealing with the same personalities class after class. Good grief! The idea of sticking to the same job and staying in the same city for the rest of my life (unless that city is New York, obviously) is terrifying. On the other hand, teaching or a career in education doesn't have to be so...logarithmic. Depending on your personality and wits about you, I think you can make any job exciting. For example, it is possible for teachers to go back to school and get involved in education research or policy or activism. 

Maybe being a teacher wont be THE career of my life but "education" might just be. So for the time being, I am going to enjoy teaching kids in Perigueux and keep slipping anti-racism messages into my lessons. It doubt this is the best job I will ever have in my life but I think it's good enough for my age and experience. Also, in the future I think I will always think back to my very first job in the education sector. AAAWWW #cheesy. 

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