If you could go back and change one decision that you made what would it be? For all of us there are so many things that may quickly run through our minds; that first love, that first relationship, that weird food you tried, the risky hair color, and the list goes on. Then your mind may wander on to well, would that affect the person I have become? Would taking away that bad memory allow me to have all of those great memories that came from it?
I like to live my life thinking that I have no regrets. That every single decision that I make is incredibly well thought out, and dare I say it, over-analyzed. But there is one decision that I made thinking it was for all the right intentions and in the end it has severely bit me in the ass, leaving an ever-growing bruise that gets worse each day I get in my car that I can barely afford.
So background: Ever since I was a little girl I knew that I wanted to do SOMETHING that helped others. I didn’t know who the “others” would be. It went from me want to be a vet, directly to me wanting to become a teacher. That thought process started as early as eighth grade for me. I know what you’re thinking: she knew what she wanted to be that young?! What is she crazy?! Yes to both questions I suppose. I had a wonderful English teacher in sixth and eighth grade that I absolutely emulated with all of my heart. I knew then that I wanted to help people through literature. I was even lucky enough to have amazing English professors in college who furthered my love for the subject even more. What could be better than getting lost in a novel everyday and then sharing that love with tiny humans? At the point I thought, well, that nothing was.
Jump timelines to the nitty gritty – I knew I wanted to be a Mom so summers off and vacation time that matched theirs made sense. Check. Salary-kind of check because teachers make money. Benefits-check. Needed job in this ever-failing economy: check. All of the “adult” decisions.
So now on to the present. What is one thing I could change if I could go back? Well, becoming a teacher in a society where the education system is failing. If you teach at a public school you are bogged down by common core standards and testing regulations that directly correlate to your job and school funding, whereas if you teach at a private school parents treat you as though you should be working FOR their child not WITH their child. Our educational philosophies are based on outdated jobs and a world where children were expected to live by the book. We don’t live in that world anymore! A child should not be defined by a grade or a test score. This score should not affect their chances for higher education. And as an educator, that is not the moral compass that I should be guiding them with.
So bottom line: I wish that I had not become a teacher. Because since day one of my job, my faith in our educational system has been SERIOUSLY tested and has in the end been crushed. No, I have not been in the education field for a long time, but I have removed my rose-colored lenses and seen our world for what it is becoming. One that is defined simply by numbers and the newest medications that we can feed our children so they “focus”. I love today’s youth and if I could change one decision it would be the decisions of all of those people who are placing a number above an education. Very soon you will find that the people that are in your profession who truly could change your child’s experience in this world will be no longer present in your schools. I know that I won’t be.