Sunday, April 17, 2011

Failure?

I'm going to admit something to you (whoever that is).

I feel like a failure for one main reason - because I am pursuing something other than teaching. It doesn't matter than I am now pursuing another very important career path. I wanted to teach for as long as I can remember, went to 4 years of very expensive school to teach, and then taught for 3.5 years.

But the truth is there were so many really really hard days. Then there were days when I just didn't like it (not because it was hard, just because). Then there were these shining days of glory that made it all worth it. Then there were just happy, normal days. I guess this can be expected from any career.

I try to justify my career move, by saying that taking care of my grandmother has revealed this inner-nurse in me. That is true, but it is also true that I've been looking for an escape from teaching almost as soon as I started teaching. I feel guilty because I was a good teacher. I'm not bragging, I just was. Not every teacher is a good teacher. Not every teacher is a thoughtful teacher. So I feel like I took a thoughtful teacher out of the mix for none other reason than I wanted to find something new.

There are not a lot of careers I can think of that would cause such guilt. Maybe because it is working with children. Maybe because education is important to me. I think it's because, in my mind, I don't think just anyone can replace an individual teacher. It's such a personal job. I don't know.

As I've been pursuing this nursing career, I've yearned for teaching again. That's just me, and may not need to be taken seriously. I want what I don't have. Humans generally do. But anyways, I know that I would really genuinely enjoy nursing. I know that it would be a really great investment in my family's life. But I will always have a passion for teaching children. At the same time, I know if I don't follow this pursuit to finish, I will always wonder "what if". I will continuously be looking for that escape from my first complicated love.

I think in a sense I get this way around April every year (teacher job hunting time). I scan the school websites and imagine myself teaching in the capacity of the job openings.

No matter what, I am endlessly thankful for the time away from the careers that have taken time from my family. I am excited about nursing school. But there will always be a part of me that will feel like a failure as long as I am not teaching in some capacity.

5 comments:

Erin said...

In a different way, I feel the same way about not teaching anymore. I knew I wanted that career since I was in high school, and I'm still paying for the education to attain that career (even though now I'm no longer working...irony). Anyway, I hear you. Good luck with nursing school!

Lisa said...

you are an amazing teacher. the things that make you an amazing teacher are just part of you...things like thoughtfulness, diligence, and insight. those same things are going to make you an equally amazing nurse.

Paige said...

I found a quote today that reminded me of your post so I wanted to share it with you.

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

Kinsey said...

Erin - Thanks for the connection there. It's nice to know there are others out there like me.
Lisa - Thank you! That is sweet of you, and it is very encouraging to me.
Paige - That quote is PERFECT! Thank you so much for thinking of me and passing it along. Steven and I actually talked about this years ago when he was considering a career change, and he felt guilty about wanting to do something that wasn't in social services. I basically said this quote in my own words. I'm going to put that up somewhere.

Timilyn said...

You know what you could do...teach for fun! Like a Sunday school class or something to get your fix. I have to tell you that around April every year when people start hunting for teaching jobs, I start looking for what jobs exist outside of teaching:):) I feel exactly the same as you...sometimes I love it...some days and student successes make it all worth it and then somedays I'm sick of being dictated by the bell...I'm tired of getting 5 minutes to each lunch...I'm tired of being held accountable every second of every day...I'm tired of jumping through hoops just to have a group of teenagers look at you in disgust for no matter how awesome the lesson, it means they must work...and then a kid who never passed the state test passes...and you're good for another few months;) Sigh...grass is always greener my friend...grass is always greener XOXOXO