As of today, here is a list of things that could be part of my career path:
- Design toys for children
- Publish a book
- Design public policy to support children with childhood trauma in schools
- Lobby and organize for the inclusion of trauma-informed care in school curriculum
- Teach in a classroom for grades PreK-2
- Go into full time ministry
- Travel on an education-related grant
- Travel as missions
- Relocate abroad to teach in a Christian international school
- Relocate abroad to teach as missions
- Have kids (or not)
- Pursue research or a fellowship programs related to curiosity and resilience
- Write grants for a non-profit related to education/children
- Design Sunday school curricula that re-frames the Teacher as a learner, and vice versa
- Establish an independent Christian school that can combine faith with self-directed learning and the pursuit of God
- Run for public office, based off of a prior career in public policy
And those are only the ones I can imagine.
The funny thing about going into a field that from the outsider’s perspective, is dying, is that you have so many veteran educators looking for people to pass the torch. In what other community do you find people this generously willing to help promote a new voice, so long as they think that person would do some good? Given how much teachers sacrifice for others, there are so many people already primed and ready to help lift up a newcomer’s voice. With the US education system in such dire need of long-lasting meta-level reform, it’s an great time to consider being a part of it. Since our congressional leaders aren’t willing to listen to them, those people willing to learn from our brow-beaten veteran teachers inherit an enormous gift.
More than anything, I’m surprised how many helpers there are freely sharing resources and expertise for the good of public education. The main reason that there is a lot of opportunity within this field is not because it’s glamorous, but because our teachers want there to be.