I’ve been asked more and more about how I ended up teaching. My go to answer has always been that it was totally God’s plan for me. I know, that sounds a little mysterious and like a canned Christian-ese answer.
So let me tell the story – the WHOLE story, starting from the very beginning. You might want to grab a coffee, it’s gonna be a bit of a ride!
My Dream Career
I literally can NOT remember a single day that I didn’t want to teach. I always loved school, would go home and play school, and my favorite day in the summer would be when my 1st grade-teacher grandma would take us to the school she taught at.
Here’s the part that feels weird for share. I was always good at school. I don’t say that to brag, it’s just that school came easy to me. It was nice sometimes because I got to help my peers learn and, in a way, learn to teach. But it also got really boring, and I hated the attention it brought. I was never celebrated for doing well (even when I had to really work for it) because it was just expected that I would do well “naturally”. I was tired of having my accomplishments written off just because some things came easy to me. Pair that with a hefty dose of perfectionism, and that was my perspective on school. A’s where just expected, and anything less was a disappointment and was criticized.
But Why Music?
Enter music. Music was something I always had an interest in, but never really got to pursue as a kid. So when I had an opening in my schedule Sophomore year, a friend and I decided to join choir and fell in love with it! I had a little natural talent in music, but mostly I had to work at it. I had to learn and push myself and I definitely wasn’t the best. It was refreshing! That’s when I decided I wanted to major in music education instead of education.
I respect the crap out of teachers, and I KNOW how hard they work not just in college but every single day of their careers. But I knew that if I went to school and majored in (and boy oh boy does it make me cringe to even type this) “just” education, that I would be told that I wasn’t living up to my potential. That I was taking the easy way out, and that my major wasn’t challenging me.
Pressure to choose something else
The outside pressures were something I knew would get to me. I knew that I wouldn’t push MYSELF with people telling me that. But if I picked music, I knew things would be different because it wasn’t something I had much experience with, and it wasn’t one of the things I was naturally good at. I would want to push despite the crap people might say to me.
Looking back, picking a major based mostly on the “screw you, I can work hard and be good at stuff too” mentality was probably not the best choice. But I LOVED having to push myself to be noticed among my peers. I loved having to work towards something. I loved achieving based on my effort (and even the feeling of failing forward). There wasn’t the same expectation that I would be the best and anything less was failure. I finally was feeling accomplished, even when I was not at the top of the class!
Graduation and Beyond
I graduated college ready to take on the world, still with my passion for teaching music, and also for working with young children! I started applying for jobs, and planning for my future career. Have you ever felt like this though – just when you think you have the PERFECT plan in place, it starts to break apart at the seams? Well now I had the plan, and it was time for life to step in a give me a bit of a reality check…