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When I Grow Up

by *¦·ωιςкэđ·¦* on Flickr

Have you ever asked your students or your own children the age old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I must have heard and asked it a thousand times in my lifetime, yet I find that I haven’t really asked it recently of any students. In fact, the only person I’ve asked that of lately is myself. When I analyze this a little further, I have broken it into two essential reasons and elements.

First, I don’t really ask my students about what they want to be in the future anymore.  How can I? Who can begin to predict what the future will hold for them as far as the job market? The possibilities are truly unimaginable. So, I often wonder how I can approach the task of helping to prepare my students for their futures. I have to develop them as versatile and creative thinkers and problem solvers. I also have to offer them chances to explore a large variety of topics and interests. When offering my students the chance to learn about their passions, I can afford them the ability to make these interests into a living. So, why ask kids what they want to be when they grow up? The opportunities of my adulthood, like world connections and interest based learning, belong to our youngest generations. I want to help students be who they want to be today.

When considering the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, I find that I am asking myself that frequently. Now, in case you are wondering, I have been teaching grades three through six for over twelve years. I have pursued additional certifications for teaching and my National Board Certification. I am constantly learning and pursuing knowledge, yet I have not sought a Masters’ Degree. Why not? Well, at thirty-three, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. People are always telling me what they think I am good at, what I should do. Go into administration. Work full time in professional development. Work with curriculum and supervision. As I sit here typing this, I am coming to the realization that I can’t recall anyone recommending that I just stay in the classroom. I think that may be a whole new blog post though. So, how do I decide what to be when I grow up? Do I even have to decide? There’s no doubt that, in five or ten more years, there will be positions in education that I can’t even imagine. What I do now, for now, is that I love teaching adults and children. I love learning. I love  making myself a better person and educator. And, I find myself more and more resentful of the fact that I need a particular degree for an accredited university to deem me “prepared” to take another step in my career. Again, the idea of assigning value to formal versus informal learning is yet another blog post. Do I need to “grow up” to take another step? Do I want to? That’s a question that will not be answered today, for sure!

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6 Responses

  1. I smiled as I read your blog. I recall my two sisters and I asking ourselves the same question. We were all “between positions” and well past 40 at the time. I have since become a school librarian. Channeling my desire to teach and work with children in a different direction after classroom teaching, raising children, and other ventures

    I have considered a Masters, but due to complication beyond my control I have not begun it. At 60+ I wonder which would come first – retirement or complete the degree. But I have never stopped learning where it is an academic class, a conference, a workshop, or an interaction with an person.

  2. Very intriguing post. I remember the question. I always wanted to be a diplomat so I could have diplomatic immunity. But in the last ten years i’ve traded soybean options, driven a cab, owned a dog poop removal business, flipped properties, taught high school religion, coached baseball, and for the last few somehow managed to be a high school principal. I’m curious to what the next ten could hold.

    I think your spot on in saying in the future there will be a number of yet undefined positions. I’d argue those positions will be the ones that drive change in schools.

    Good luck to you.

  3. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and was assigned to comment on your blog posts. I will be reading and responding to this post and another post and write a summary post on my blog in 2 weeks. Feel free to check it out. My blog website is http://broughtonsydneyedm310fall2010.blogspot.com/ .
    I really enjoyed this post because I can relate to it. Even though I am an elementary education major and children are my passion, that does not necessarily mean I will be doing that for the rest of my life. I do not know what the future holds. As of now, my plans are to not get my Master’s, but that may change. I am only 22 years old, so really, my journey has just begun.

  4. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class. I enjoy reading your blog. I like what you said about how asking children what they want to be when they grow up can be changed in any moment. I thought about my own life as I read this and remember changing my mind every time I saw something new and cool that I might want to do. I still do not know what the future holds, but I will be ready for what ever comes.

  5. Fantastic read, I just passed this onto a associate who was doing a modest analysis on that. And he really got me lunch due to the fact I found it for him .So let me rephrase that: Appreciate it for lunch!

  6. You could certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

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