On The Home Stretch With My Teaching Degree

About two years ago I made a big change happen in my life. I decided that, after running my own business as a freelance writer and creative for almost 5 years that I would go back to school to become a primary school teacher.

I know what you’re thinking, what a reversal!

How would I go from a happily introverted, work at home freelance writer with a passion for very quiet mornings alone with my coffee to an energetic, extraverted educator with a passion for seeing kids reach new levels of achievement in their personal learning?

Well, it wasn’t too bad actually.

There was a period of adjustment, for sure. Initially, I was mostly at war with myself over whether it was actually a good idea or just the result of me spending too much time alone and perhaps being a little starved for human connection. I took a fair amount of time to think it over, to consider if this was really what I wanted and what my reasoning was behind it. I realised that, while I loved being a writer and I probably always would have writing as a part of my life, I was becoming disengaged with running my own business as a creative professional. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that being a creative person trying to make money in the modern business market is hard work. There’s a constant undervaluing of what you do and your abilities, and that was just grinding down on me. I was sick of constantly justifying my abilities and my value as a writer, and of competing with other writers in a cut-throat market with very little employment or income protection. I realised that I was craving the consistency of a job and a salary and a community. I realised that I wanted to accomplish more in my work day than to simply sell someone something.

So, I went into teaching.

Two years later I am on the cusp of being finished with my teaching degree. As I already had an existing three-year Bachelor of Arts with two majors (Writing and Indonesian), I was able to undertake a two-year graduate entry program to obtain my Bachelor of Education as well. As I did with my first degree, I undertook the entire course via distance education (another challenge in and of itself) with the except of three practical placement blocks where I spent several weeks at a time in school practicing my new craft. I am amazed at how far I’ve come since my first placement block, and how much I’ve learned in that time. My journey into teaching has been full of fantastic and passionate educators who have mentored me and guided me, which I am so grateful for. While I know I still have a lot to learn, I feel more confident than ever with the idea that teaching is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

It’s hard to believe sometimes that I am almost done with my degree, and that the timing is so perfect for our little person’s arrival in February. I should be wrapping up my last theory unit just weeks before we welcome the baby into our lives, and then when I go back to work I’ll be starting fresh in a new career!

So I thought I’d take a moment today, as I’m submitting what will be some of the last of my assessment pieces, to reflect on that big decision. I think decisions like that come along every now and again in a person’s life, and we have a choice to stay where we are, snug and warm in our familiar comforts, or take the leap into the cold unknown. What I did in changing my career path wasn’t really anything incredible, it was just a decision to do something different, to point my life in a new direction and run with it. Looking back, I’ve never been happier that I took a risk, because the rewards have been absolutely amazing!

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