Once upon a time, I wanted to be a painter. It was in my elementary years when I was fascinated with flamboyant canvasses, intricate brushwork, and creative pieces of art. I admired visual arts and still do up to this day. Way back then when I was asked this famous question “What do you want to be when you grow up?,” most of my classmates’ responses were doctor, policeman, lawyer, astronaut, and scientist. I guess because I wanted to be unique, I said I wanted to be a painter. But honestly, I am not the best at drawing and I know it’s funny.
Now fast forward to the present. Currently, I am a teacher and have been in this profession for almost five years. So what happened with my dream of being a painter? What took place between my childhood days and late 20s? Let’s analyze.
1. Most family members are teachers – Mom was my teacher in 5th grade Math and English. My sister works in the university. Some of our relatives are public school teachers. While most people agree that parents’ professions may have influenced their children’s future occupation, I think otherwise. I did not want to become a teacher and have abhorred insurmountable responsibilities shouldered by teachers. That was my mindset until I reached my early 20s.
2. I am a socially oriented individual – I did not finish a degree in education when I was in college. I was into behavioral sciences since I enjoyed understanding behavior patterns and probably reading a person’s mind. I love to talk and be with people. When I finished college, I worked at a call center company and have enhanced my communication skills. But the problems were I felt imprisoned into a cubicle and had been working at night. During that time after receiving calls, I contemplated with a few friends if we would be doing the same job until we reach 40. I knew I wanted something else.
3. I wanted to be a superhero – There was one defining moment when I was alone in the living room thinking of what the future might bring. I wanted to be extraordinary. In an attempt to change the world, spread world peace, and apply my super human strengths, I sent my CV to famous organizations and UNICEF was one of them. After more than a hundred applications, I landed into a teaching job and have continued earning a degree in educating students with special learning needs, specifically individuals with autism spectrum disorder. From that point, I had realized my truest potentials. It was as if my superpowers had emerged because of what I do as a professional.
4. Others appreciate and are thankful – It brings so much gratification that parents of my students are grateful for their child’s improvement after I work with them. Regardless of what one is teaching, when his efforts are being recognized and appreciated by others, there is an unexplainable feeling of elated joy and contentment that burst from within. And with these heightened emotions and reciprocated actions, we continue what we have been doing.
5. I guess it’s my destiny – Before I became a special needs teacher, I had also dreamt of becoming an interior designer, nurse, lawyer, model, indie film actor, and of course… a painter. Because of different life events, fortunes, misfortunes, and several people along the way, I have become what I am now. And I am thankful that everything was beautifully orchestrated to produce the music of my life.
So… there you are. If you are in the teaching profession just like me, how did you end up in that vocation? Would you consider shifting into another profession if given a chance? I would be more than glad to listen to your story.
Photo: Youtube Vlogger KikayJen Edem
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