Friday, June 5, 2009

Where Are Career Services When You Need Them?

Is it horrible that I have no idea what I truly want to do with my life? I have the respectable list of goals to pull out for my relatives (get a Master's degree in education, teach English in Asia, do two years of Americorps service in public schools), but so far I haven't found that one thing that makes me just love getting up in the morning. Maybe because I'm not a morning person?

It's not that I don't enjoy what I'm doing (teaching English as a Foreign Language and tutoring in public schools), it's just that it's not my passion. I want more from a job than this.

If I could, I would work with children one on one, completely on my own (no list of what has to be done, no goals to meet, just some nice, child-led learning). Getting my Master's degree sounds great and all, but I don't really gel that well with public schools. I've seen too many kids who just can't fit into the classroom mold.

Take Ashton, for example. I started taking him out of the classroom for forty-five minutes three times a week, and was just amazed at his academic level. As long as I wasn't doing anything that screamed "schoolwork" with him, he would actually ask to write short stories (and illustrate them) and do math problems with cubes. The minute I pulled a worksheet out, though, you could see the enthusiasm visibly drain out of him.

I do want to travel. If the only way I can finance it is teaching English, I'll do it. I just need some flexibility. Conversation classes with adults are great, as is working with children. As long as there isn't too much structure, I'm great.

I think what got me in trouble in Guatemala was just working for the absolute upper class, and working in an extremely structured environment. I can't stand walking by hungry, begging street children on my way to teach absurdly demanding rich students, who can afford to pay the equivalent of $100 an hour and not show up to class on time. I didn't feel like I was making a difference. I'm all for paying the bills and all, but I also need some sort of job satisfaction.

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