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Trying to turn a passion into a profession

March 5, 2012 | 6 Comments

Since graduating college with a teaching degree for grades 7-12, I've been working part-time at an elementary school, not sure I want to teach full-time at a public school. It would feel more like a job than something fulfilling in the long-term. I would like to teach at the college level, but I'm not sure if another diploma is worth the time and the money. I am caught between two choices, and any advice would be much appreciated.

Dallastown, PA


The time and money are secondary: the important thing is the heart ---- what does it tell you to do? It can be hard when you're young to put aside the natural arrogance of youth and make a determination of serious intent, mission, vocation, that one is prepared to stick with despite discouragement. I know people ---- so do you ---- who took what seemed to be a practical route and then regretted the choice. A friend of mine loved science in high school but majored in business, thinking it more practical, and then suffered for twenty years through stultifying corporate life, and now is back in school to become a nurse. He's enormously happy about the choice. A friend went into law who decided years later that his true calling was teaching history in high school. It's hard for us mortals to force enthusiasm, and without enthusiasm, life gets awfully tedious. You're at the age when your spirit is high, Emily, and you should try not to damage it by embarking on a career where you will need to fake dedication. You should talk this over with some people who know you well ---- some of your college teachers, for example ---- to see if they think college teaching is a good goal for you.


Love Today

"The time and money are secondary!
The important thing is the heart - - "
And what you have to realize
Is the end is not the start:
If you think you want to teach,
then why on earth not try to reach?
You can always find another way,
But never disparage your love

excellent advice....follow your bliss -
enthusiasm IS hard to fake

If you want to have a really long life, choose the wrong career. It'll seem like it lasts forever.

I don't know how Garrison got so wise - he's a couple of years younger than I, and I sure haven't made it yet - but you can't go wrong if you follow his advice.

I stayed with the same job for 36 years. That's just plain dumb. I most admire people who re-invent themselves when the time comes. Look for change that will enliven you. The days of choosing one career/profession are long gone. I hope. Never let yourself get stuck.

nothing done for children ever goes wasted

Take a leap. I was 49 when I went to nursing school and had any number of other jobs (cleaning, secretarial, retail, sampling, etc) in the years before that. I don't regret any of the jobs I held prior to nursing, as they helped prepare me for what I now love. I think college is overrated for the young. One is wiser to get a little life experience and accumulate a bit of cash before deciding on a career.

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