As I sit in my early childhood education class, with a professor breaking down the concept of how to create a lesson plan, my mind wanders to writing.
I can’t do this forever.
I no longer want to teach children, I want to write.
I always imagined having my own classroom, crafts are draped around each wall, a large white board decorated with sight words and a reading corner loaded with different books for various reading levels. But now the thought no longer brings a leap of joy to my heart. I no longer feel excited or passionate about teaching young minds. I only feel depressed.
After class ends, I get bombarded with kids. I am 19 years old and everyday for the past two years I have worked at an after school program, a place I’ll continue to work at until I’m 22. A place where I get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a teacher.
Although the children can make me mental, I do love getting to see how they develop and change throughout the year, but the thought of listening to the screams, arguments and the being ignored on a daily basis makes me want to scream. The amount of times that I’ve had to break up a fight over who shot their basketball first in knock out or had to be a mediator for friend groups over who thought their dress was ugly has reached its highest peak.
I no longer dream of having my own classroom. Now when I sit in class, thoughts of writing and editing come to mind. The feeling of being able to expand my knowledge of communicating and telling a story that matters to people fills me.
Friends from my high school fill my Instagram feed with pictures of them teaching in a classroom. How teaching has changed their lives and how they are so passionate, hard working and “living their best lives.”
Everyone I know is either a business major or an education major. It’s the thing to do to get a steady job. Yet, I don’t want to be that. I can’t force myself to do something for the rest of my life that I don’t love.
With this new epiphany fresh in my mind, I call my mom. She answers, happy as always, asking questions like how is school, how are my classes, if I made any more friends or done anything exciting. So I tell her.
“I don’t want to be an early education major anymore, I don’t want to be confined to a classroom, teaching the same things over and over again, year after year. I want to be a journalist and write what I want to. To be able to go from different topics, to always be changing and never being tied down to one thing forever.”
The line goes silent for a few seconds. Thoughts swarm about how she’s going to hate it, fight me on it, say that I’m crazy. Say that I’ll never make it. She’s an extremely supportive person, yet she wants the best for me, to have a secure job.
But those arguments never come. The only thing she says is “Okay.”
“Okay? That’s it?” I say.
“Yes, okay. If that’s what you want to do.”
Relief. Finally a chance to do something that I want to do and not what is expected of me.
That was two years ago. Now I am a senior journalism major with an English minor with experience writing for Philadelphia Magazine and The Whit. Expanding my knowledge, even with the unreliability of the job field, I love what I do.
I can do this.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost
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