In May 2015, I was offered a full-time teaching contract. Up to that point I’d been a teaching assistant or substitute teacher. It was during my student teaching experience that I realized teaching a general education classroom of 30 kids was not my calling. I got into Special Education the year after graduating and have been in it since.
Becoming a Special Education teacher meant a lot of things. It also meant having a decent paycheck that allowed me the opportunity to eat out without worry, buy nice clothes, buy a macbook (finally!) Up until that point, I’d been living paycheck to paycheck for the most part (I did have a decent emergency fund, however.) Most importantly, I’m closer to family and live just down the road from my two best friends! I do love the area I live in too, even though some people detest Northern Virginia. If I get tired of the area, I can drive 1-2 hours to a close friends place and stay for a bit.
Despite this, there is a nagging feeling that has only grown over the last 2 months. As an introvert, the extroverted nature of being a teacher has left me feeling worn thin. Yet as an INFJ, I need social interaction and I’m a humanitarian. I need to help others like a person needs water. I became a teacher because I love learning and want to instill that in my students. I also went in knowing I’d have the role of being a counselor–which I do at work and enriches me. Yet, the feeling that there’s something else I’m supposed to do has only intensified.
Some may call it ‘grass is greener’ syndrome, but I believe a person can have multiple callings in life. I’m at the age/point in my life where I have a good idea of what I’m good at or not good at, so narrowing the list of things I could do next is plausible. Teaching requires a lot of skills, all of which easily translate into other careers. Teaching has a high burn out rate and you can find former teachers in virtually every career.
I’m not sure where I’ll be in another year career wise, but I have a feeling in my gut that changes are coming my way, for the better. Despite all the changes that loom on the horizon, I’m excited for them. My mentor said something once that has stuck with me. I mentioned wanting to move to another town after college and she said “go further”. She didn’t want me to settle because she saw potential in me and I want to not only live up to those expectations, but mentor others in the same way.
Here’s to forward steps!