Second Thoughts

August 2, 2008 § 1 Comment

I’ve been thinking alot about this upcoming year, and about my future “career.”  This year of grad school has made me realize that I’m not so sure I want a PhD, and that I at least need some time off school.

Little by litte, more and more, I was toying with the idea of teaching high school.  It’s always been something I thougth I might do, I might even like, and I might be good at.

So I made a decision.  It’s not set in stone or anything, but I was pretty sure about it.  This year, I was going to take whatever classes and exams I needed to take in order to get certified to teach.  Then, for the first time in my entire life, I would have an actual JOB SKILL that I could use to actually SUPPORT MYSELF.  (As much as I love American Studies, I haven’t exactly seen any job openings for an American Studiesologist.)

I love the idea of teaching high school first and foremost because I love the idea of teaching.  Originally, I was going to get my PhD not so I could research, but so I could teach college.  I also like the idea of having a school/classroom as a work environment rather than an office/cubicle.  I would like the social aspect, and the hustle bustle.  (The idea of sitting at a desk all day, listening to “adult contemporary” on the radio while I push paper for someone else’s company makes me want to choke myself with a rusty barbed wire.)  Also, I think I relate to high school kids pretty well, and I have some creative ideas.  Yeah, so ok, I guess I want to be like that cliche movie-style young teacher who wants to go in and shake things up.  But I mean, it could happen… right?

But now that I am getting closer to moving home and actually having to follow through on my plan… I’m getting nervous.  There’s this nagging little bug inside my ear saying, “Are you crazy?  Don’t you remember high school?  HIGH SCHOOL SUCKS!”  And I say, “No it didn’t, I had a good time in high school!  I have fond memories of being young and vibrant and completely obsessed with boys, thinking I knew everything, talking back to my teachers, sleeping through class- shit.”

Teaching high school is NOT an easy job.  I know this because not so long ago, I used to be part of the problem.  After two years of being a high school student, I started having panic attacks.  How on earth would I be able to manage the stress of teaching?  (Not to mention getting up at the ass-crack of dawn five days a week.  The only reason I survived that the first time around was because I slept through half the school day on a regular basis.)

And besides the numerous bad things about teaching… there are still some other things I could try.  I really enjoyed studying journalism and media, and would maybe like to do something with that.  I also still want to write.  And I still do, deep down, want a PhD someday.  I am still interested in doing something with sexual health education and outreach.

But maybe I could still get certified, try teaching for a little while, and still get a chance to do all of these other things.  Who knows.  I’m only 22.

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§ One Response to Second Thoughts

  • Aviv says:

    I advise you read the literature about why teachers get burnt out (a topic my mom researched) so that you remain the cliche movie-style young teacher who wants to go in and shake things up – Not the teacher who’s just sick of it all and can’t stand it anymore.

    Having said that, keep up the good work. Making these decisions is very difficult. I should know – I’m only one year your junior =P

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