There it is. I laid it out there. I made a little announcement over on Instagram last week that looked a little something like this...
"But how are you going to make money?"
"Where will your paychecks come from?"
"What exactly are you going to do?"
I just smile and nod at most people. I've given up trying to share my story with each and every person that asks how I'm going to survive. I think it's such a silly question.
Don't get me wrong, I'm terrified. But then I remember this...
Well, this is actually a complex question. I could list a lot of reasons but I'll leave it to this for now.
First and foremost, I'm a mover and a shaker. I'm a person that thrives with growth. I want to grow! I enjoy change! My whole life I've constantly been striving for the next thing.
I graduated high school. Then I got into college. Then my next step was to graduate college. I finished student teaching and my next goal was to get a job. I got a job that I was at for 3 years but my goal was to be back in KC. Then I got my job back in KC and I've been here for 3 years. I've mastered what I'm teaching. Truly, I got this down to a science.
So, now what?
I don't want to be an administrator. I don't want to be a counselor. I don't want to pay thousands of dollars to go back to school to get another degree. As a teacher, how do I grow? What's my next goal?
In a corporate world you work hard and your hard work pays off and you move up in a company and make more money. You get bonuses. (What's that like?!) If the company does well, usually it rewards it's employees.
As a business owner you work hard and your hard work pays off and you grow your business to make more money.
In the education world? You work your ass off and your hard work does what for you? Get's you a free school lunch every now and then?
Okay. Maybe I'm in the wrong here because molding the minds of the youth of America should be priceless, right? That's the REAL pay off, no? We could probably go round and round with this endless battle. My non-teacher friends love to say... "but you get summers and winter break". (I rolled my eyes just typing that sentence.)
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I believe I'm a really good teacher. I can totally connect to high school kids - in fact, I love it! I am innovative. I am organized. I am funny and witty. I coach and sponsor multiple activities and sports. I can email and contact parents with the best of them. I can PLC. I love collaborating. I'm tech savvy. I challenge the kids in a way they want to preform. I make kids THINK.
And all of that is really great and dandy but... I need more.
Teaching pays shit. I mean total and complete shit. And, unless I want to go back to school or stick it out for the next 30 years, how do I grow? How do I move up? How do I just become a better teacher?
Perfect world: There's opportunity for teachers to prove their hard work pays off with their students and they don't have to get another degree or teach for 30 years to make a little money.
I'm 29 years old and I feel as though I have peaked in my career.
Now now, please do not misinterpret what I'm saying here. There are people who this is meant for. Teaching is their life and they know this is what they are meant to do because they are completely satisfied with the pay off of student learning.
All I'm saying is that I am not one of these people. I am not just quitting teaching because I want to make more money, although that is part of it. I have dreams I want to chase. I love teaching but I love designing too. I'm going to go chase that dream for a little while and see where it gets me. I might just come back to teaching someday... who knows.
But until then, I'm dropping teacher from my title. We'll just leave it at designer for now.
More to come about my future plans... stay tuned.