Sunday, January 30, 2011

Moving on...

I suppose it is time for me to do another post here. I guess I'd been hoping for a few more responses regarding my other, new blog (it's not too late if you're interested reading it- just shoot me an e-mail or mention it in your comments!). But, c'est la vie... on with the post.

As many of you know, this has been a tough year for me, teaching-wise AND other-wise. But I suppose it has been good in the sense that I have been learning a lot about myself, my goals, my desires both personal and professional... It's funny- I have wanted to be a teacher for so long (read: since about junior high age) that over the years, I just took it for granted that it is what I would do with my life. I never really thought about other options (or, when I did, I ended up dismissing them for various reason). I thought I was prepared; I thought I knew what I was getting into.

What I didn't expect was how all this stuff would make me feel.

I guess I expected to feel more rewarded for my efforts. I guess I expected to feel more small (or large) moments of success. I guess I expected to feel like this is something I am capable of doing.

This year, I have felt those things almost never.

As mentioned before, I'm not giving up on teaching entirely...yet. After all, I still *love* teaching my Valiant 8/9s! They are a fun (sometimes crazy/hyper) bunch of kids. I've enjoyed my calling as a Primary teacher so much this past month. I've always enjoyed my callings as a teacher in Sunday School or Relief Society. Clearly, there is a lot about teaching I enjoy. But this year has taught me more not just about thinking outside the box, but actually looking outside the box.

Here is what I've concluded:
1) I don't think I'm designed for the traditional classroom setting. I'd still like to try it in a different district (just in case), but I just don't think that I do my best work there. Because besides discipline, some of my biggest stresses are the lesson planning and the grading, and those are things that would exist no matter what school district I taught in. I just don't think I'm mentally/emotionally equipped for all the time/stress that those things entail.

2) It's time to go back to school (i.e. grad school). But not for an education degree. I've decided to obtain a Master's of Library Science (or similar degree, depending on which school I end up going to). I love libraries and the type of organization there (perhaps that is shocking to anyone that has seen my bedroom, but believe it or not, I am over-organized with some things, books and alphabetizing and categorizing being some of those things...). I could see myself loving a library-related job well into retirement age. And if I can't find a position within a school library, it gives me marketability in the public sector.

I remember reading once in a Readers' Digest, "Money is the fringe benefit of a job you like." I've tried to hold to that over the years. I am one who feels that I have to be able to enjoy what I do in some capacity. Right now, there is very little that I enjoy about teaching in IPS, which is why I'm out after this year. I feel I would very much enjoy almost any librarian-type position, though. Hence the decision to move in that direction.

Now I just need to figure out where to go.

Any suggestions?


JennVan said...

That is so interesting Elise that you are looking at doing a MLS degree. You are like the 5th older single woman I know who has done that. Hmm, I wonder if there is anything to the old adage about spinster women librarians? :) Let's just say I don't have a shortage of people to call about book suggestions. :)

Stephen Monteith said...

I wish I could offer you a job. Right now, though, Fourth-day Universe can barely afford to cover expenses. Who knows? By the time we draw in enough revenue to pay our writers, we may have a place for you. *smiles*

Julina said...

I really like the idea of thinking outside the "traditional classroom" box, and I love that you love teaching the younger kids after all, though not necessarily for a whole day or a whole week (:

What are your thoughts about where to go to grad school? Are you going to base your job applications on grad school options, or vice versa? And are you thinking public library, school library, or specialty/research library?

I'm excited for you to go in a new direction! :)

Tamara said...

We'd love to see more of you around HERE!!!!---->

genevieve said...

I'm trying not to virtually give JennVan the bird for her insulting remarks there...but I digress.

Univ. of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign is the best in the country, but I know Univ. of Indiana is just fine, as is MU. It's a fun, easy degree...I think you'll love it!

JennVan said...

genevive -Sorry you were so offended but it wasn't meant to be offensive. I was just making an observation. Plus I can say it because I am one of those spinster women even if I'm not a librarian. I just find it interesting that so many of my unmarried single girl friends end up as librarians. I'm curious about what draws them to that profession above others.
(Lays down defense to keep order on someone else's blog)

Juliana said...

Children's literature and libraries are both lots of fun. It sounds like a good fit for you. In AZ many schools no longer employ librarians in their libraries because of costs. Our librarians are basically aides. Do I agree with that? No, but it is the reality. Just be aware of that trend.

Julina said...

@JennVan-I suspect the inclination towards books/libraries existed in these women before the lack of marriage prospects, so maybe silly boys just don't like book nerds? I'm glad, though, that I belong to a whole family of them :)

In any case - Elise, I wouldn't turn down an invite to your private blog, but honestly, I probably would barely look at it, so I wouldn't be much good for that. Ask me again in a year, there might be a different answer, but for now...

Sarah Lambson said...

I, too, am very excited for the direction you are going.

Ever since High School I was CONVINCED I would hate teaching. Much to my surprise, I LOVE it. But that's because I've done it in non-classroom forums or non-conventional classroom forums. I know the world needs teachers to teach in the classroom, but there are plenty of teachers out there who don't want to teach that way.

I can't give you any suggestions about Grad School or jobs because I know nothing about the greatness of schools or state's teaching programs (except what I said before about avoiding Urban New Hampshire). But I can say that as I spend more time in New England, the more I love it. So there is my shameless slug encouraging you to join me and become a North Easterner!

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

As a teacher in the performing arts, I don't have to grade papers. Ya should have been a music major - ha ha. About lesson plans - do you have to write every one out like you did when you were taking ed classes??? I would HATE that. I plan my music app. classes but in the loosest form.