Archive for December, 2010

The Right to Education

Lately I’ve been thinking about my career. I don’t consider the job I’m doing right now to be a career at all, for me it’s always been a placeholder: I need a job to pay my bills, unfortunately!

I want to be able to enjoy my career. I want my career to involve making a difference. I’m not willing to give that up.

So, I’ve continued looking for jobs & different opportunities. Then the other night I had a dream. I was subbing in a second grade class. There was a whole lot of other stuff going on in the dream, but the take away point is that I had a dream about teaching. I haven’t really given much thought to being a teacher since I was in middle school & that was my aspiration for the future. I had a brief moment where I wanted to be an interior designer & then set my sights on the human rights arena.

I thought the teaching dream was kind of strange, & then I thought about it more. Teaching would be much more enjoyable than the job I have right now. Teaching would be a much better stepping stone into the type of career I want. Teaching is definitely making a difference.

Then I started looking into Teach For America. I haven’t completely made up my mind, I have a lot more research to do, but it’s become a consideration. They offer great training, help with whatever certification you need or want, & it’s a great opportunity. They focus on areas that really need great teachers – a lot of cities facing poverty, education gaps, etc.

I’ve been reading about all of these different places I could request to teach in. At the moment, I keep going back to Las Vegas Valley. I already knew about some of the challenges facing education in Las Vegas because of one of the blogs I read: a mother with four children in the Clark school district. I’ve read about kids leaving their classes because their parents have had to send them off to live with relatives in other states due to unemployment or under-employment. I’ve read about parents who are supplementing their children’s educations with homeschooling so that they don’t fall through the cracks in the system.

Of course there are so many hurting school districts, which is why I’m doing my research not just on the districts, but also the cost of living & other things that are relevant to me. There’s a lot that goes into making a decision like this, in many different aspects & for many different reasons.

However, I feel myself becoming more & more drawn to the idea in general. Regardless of where I decide I would want to be placed & where I’m actually placed, the thought of teaching is really growing on me. I think it might be the step in the right direction that I’ve been looking for.

I certainly know that I would be making a difference, even if it’s not the way I imagined. I’ve been so influenced by the teachers who have been present in my life & will always be so grateful for them.

For any of you who are teachers, what lead you to make that decision?