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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When I Grow Up

I sort of fell of into teaching unintentionally. I had many other career plans as a child and teenager which included, but were not limited to:

1. (age 3) - Wonder Woman - loved the show. Wore my wonder woman underoos all the time with my brother's wrist bands. Turned in circles like Linda Carter, but just could not figure out why I never did morph into a super hero.

2. (age 4-5) - Bob Barker Beauty - went through a phase of watching the Price's Right with my mom and desperately wanted to be a sexy, glamorous model that demonstrated prizes on a game show. I especially liked the red dresses and high heels that they wore.

3. (age 6-7) - Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader - cause all the other little girls wanted to be one. And they were really pretty.

4. (age 8-9) - Country Singer - Loved Reba, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, The Judds, Dolly Parton...sang along with every song on the radio....knew them all by heart....could do the nasal twang with the best of them....just not on key!

5. Late elementary through high school - doctor (pediatrician) - cause they made tons of money, lived in nice houses, and got to help people - but also considered alternative of medical mission work in Africa or other developing country.

I considered lots of other options such as: movie star when I went through my acting phase, model when I went through my anorexic stage, accountant when I was winning accounting competitions in high school, being a secret agent cause that would be cool, and you could shoot a gun, and look sexy all at the same time. However, when the moment came to make the big decision I had to consider my options realistically. Obviously many of these choices were quite silly, that would be why those of you who know my ordinary self are laughing so hard right now.

I choose to become a teacher primarily because of convenience. Good hours, great vacations, very portable career for the ministry, and you got to work with and help people. Over the years, I have often regretted my choice and wished I had stuck with the whole superhero idea :) It couldn't be any tougher!

But days like today, I am thankful that for this moment in time I am what I am. You see, today a group of children who were barely reading in September hit the magic reading level 18. That's the exit number for first grade. That means that I have 2 reading groups who are now on second grade level and only 2 groups left to go. That's huge! It's days like today that I remember that I am permanently changing lives. I am teaching children to read. It's hard work, very stressful and frustrating. But it is also incredibly rewarding. There is no way to describe it adequately.

I still hope that I get to change careers in some way before too many more years fly by. I just can't see me teaching first grade for the 27 years I have left until I qualify for retirement. But for today, it was good.


rachel4fotoz said...

a country music singer?... seriously? You hate country music!

LaRissa said...

It was all I EVER listened to until after I was married. The hatred comes from the vividness of the memories it invokes. It yanks me right back to my past...the past that I'd just as soon leave in the past.