It was 1993. I graduated with a BA in Psychology. I was sure I wanted to pursue a master’s degree but unsure as to whether it would be in my field. During my last year in college, I took the most heart-wrenching psychology courses: developmental psychology, child psychology and experimental psychology.
It was the before-mentioned courses that made me waver between my decision because I had to have a strong heart to deal with so much mental sickness and abuse. I wasn’t sure I had it in me to deal with that on a daily basis.
During my first summer as a college graduate, I was offered a part-time position as a high school English teacher while on vacation in another country. I took this first job out of college partly because I like to try new things and also because I was running out of money.
I found myself in front of students that were only a few years younger than me and was scared out of my wits! I had no theoretical models to refer to so that information could be conveyed efficiently to them. I could only use personal experience and the psychology I had internalized at the university. They must have known I was a rookie because of all the pranks they played (and I was sure I would NEVER get in front of a classroom again), yet at the end of the summer they surprised me with a going away party and thanked me profusely about the knowledge they had gained from me.
I was affected so positively by that experience that after 25 plus years in teaching, it has never left my heart. And looking back at that experience, I can pinpoint my savior. It was most definitely the psychology courses that originally alienated me from the field that actually pulled me into another field that required an equal amount of humanitarian qualities. If I were to define teaching in one word it would have to be LOVE.
I have learned that despite my lacking in educational models and so forth back then, I took what I did master and used it in my favor. No matter what your first job out of college is or what you have dedicated four years to it will all rest upon where your heart leads you.
Within the field of teaching (and life), love really does move mountains. Good luck in your pursuit!