When I left the executive management world a few years ago, my goal was simply to find ways to stay creative and keep a roof over my head. This decision also involved me changing my career path in what some might consider, late in the game. After years of making an insanely, wonderful large salary, I began writing on more of a full time basis and substitute teaching in the public school system.
I tell myself the low pay was balanced with the daily rewards of working with young people and seeing them hit a happy plateau when they believed in themselves like I did. I guess I would say my philosophy in teaching was meeting the students exactly where they were and showing them the end goal everyday. And for three years I did just that! I worked with intent and passion, sharing my love for language arts and literature with 3rd and 4th graders. My respect for teachers and administration grew immensely. These are different times our kids are living in! Their access to information (and the lack of information) through the internet is a double edge sword. But I definitely have to say a huge challenge we are facing is the placement of charter schools that do not match the need or function for their perspective communities.
The mission statements and goals are gloriously established but the happening of their actualization proves to be difficult especially if the language doesn’t match. To make a long story short, the parents/guardians read the school motto and want their child to experience this journey. The problem is presented when the motto can only be achieved if the message is reinforced at home too so the teacher and administration are now guiding both child and parent for that to happen. That’s when you realize, everyone wants the child to win but the parent wants the motto that has been promised to happen immediately. Then comes the round table discussion of the “alternate” route needed to get their child on the school motto’s journey because of varying learning or behavioral circumstances.
During the spring semester, I was having a conversation with another teacher discussing whether or not we would re-new our teaching contracts. We both decided against it and gave our ideas of what we would do in our after lives of teaching. I said out loud that I would teach in the arts at Spelman College or Clark Atlanta University. Well, I kept it simple and true and applied with earnest to both places and recently began teaching in the arts on the historical campus of Spelman College. (if you don’t know, look it up ASAP)
I guess I want this blog to speak to the audacity of changing careers in your 40’s. Or maybe I want this blog to speak truth into the power of visualization. As cliche as it may sound, it is true, that dreams don’t expire.