Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Teacher Teacher

Graduating from College with a degree in Education sort of predisposes you to teaching, I guess.

I never thought much about teaching before entering college. Sadly it wasn't a life long goal. What I wanted was go to college, and my parents pressured me to pick a major that would get me a job ... like Nursing, Teaching, ... uhh ... at the time I felt like those were my only choices. My parents wouldn't have paid for a Degree in Theatre Arts - and in hindsight I can see that a degree in performance arts wouldn't have paid the bills. When you live at the lower end of the income spectrum - practicality must rule. Taking time to explore my options was a luxury I didn't have. Nursing? I wasn't prepared from high school for college level science or math so Nursing was out. Teaching it was. My degree was selected by default!

What I discovered was that I had a hidden gift to teach! My first years as a teacher were for Second Graders - 7 to 8 year olds. I enjoyed it, but teaching children wasn't my gift. I left classroom teaching after 4 years to raise a family. When I returned to the work force in non-teaching jobs, I fell into teaching roles - new employee orientation, adult trainer, mentoring. I did some form of adult teaching all my work life. My gift was teaching adults ... and I have heard that observation repeated back to me many times.

Still, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't pick teaching, but the knowledge and skills I learned from those years have served me well.

Here are two pictures of my time in the class room.

This first picture is my student teaching year. I am on the far left - standing next to the top row of students. On the far right is my mentoring teacher, Mrs. Miller. Mrs. Miller was 73 years old at the time and that was her last year of teaching. I was asked to return to the school the next year to take her place. No one could take her place. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor, but I was in the right place at the right time. I got the job.

This last picture is one of 4 classes I had during my time at this school. I chose this year to show you specifically because of my outfit ... very 70's - a bold, ugly plaid pant suit.

Whatever was I thinking?


The question still remains ... if there were no pressures and time to decide what my major would be ... at 64 I still have no idea! The College Degree opened employment doors over my whole working career.

I got the college experience which I wanted, and I got the benefits of having the piece of paper.


  1. I have two children. The older one has a college degree, and cannot find a permanent job in her field (teaching). The younger one had planned to go to college, but discovered something that he loved to do and is doing it. At 22, with no college degree, he makes good money, works hard, owns his own home and three vehicles. It makes us question where a college degree will get you these days...
    But my daughter she'll keep plugging away because teaching is her calling. It's sad because she's really good at it and there are others we've seen who just need to retire.
    Oh, and I love that last picture. You were quite in style!

  2. I know what you mean. When I left public school I was advised by my parents to take the four year commercial course, which I did. I then spent the rest of my adult years chained to a desk in various offices. If I could choose a path now??? No idea. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

  3. And you've taught a few people how to knit too and make weave-its. : )

  4. Laura - when I graduated from College, a degree was considered vital for getting a good job. I agree with you about today ... today it isn't always vital.

    My son chose military service instead of college and has done very well for himself. But there is a ceiling for his promotion opportunities unfortunately so the degree still does serve a purpose.

    And teaching is a calling for sure. I didn't have that calling. I did just fine for 4 years but if I had been dedicated, I would have returned to teaching after having the kids. I didn't and hopefully a more dedicated talented person took my spot.

    The baby boomers are retiring now so maybe there is a chance for your daughter. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her.

  5. This post could have been written by me! I graduated from college with no idea that I had to work. So I went to grad school for education. Took a "temporary" teaching job and retired 33 years later. I was only in the classroom for 14 of those years. For the remainder, I did other things which I liked much better. I think I also had that plaid suit! LOL!

  6. I have an award for you. Pop over to pick it up.

  7. I have heard many other women in my age group say the same thing - teaching or nursing. I didn't feel that way but I still didn't have any idea what I wanted to do so ended up falling into jobs that requited a degree. None lasted long until my current job that didn't exist when I graduated from college. Now I am thinking about what I will do next!

  8. We always wonder if we made the right choices. My degree was in communications which was so general that I always think about what would've happened had I gone into another field. The important thing is, I'm sure that you've helped many children. And even in your orange plaid pant suit, you looked lovely. In fact, you still do. Julie

  9. haha. i didn't ever think i'd go into teaching myself. isn't that funny? though i did come to realize when graduation wasn't too far off that working with kids was already in my blood. i was just going to ask what would you have pursued had you not done teaching. i couldn't even answer that one for myself. oh, love the plaid suit! ;)

  10. I don't know what I want to do when I grow up either!

  11. What a cutie patootie you were. AND, that plaid pantsuit takes me back. Lots of gals wore similar styles so you were quite fashionable for the times my Dear.

    Thanks for sharing with all of us here in Bloggyland!


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