Why I Went Back to School

8:00 AM

Hi y'all,
I'll be the first to say as a 23 year old, (at the time freshly 22 year old) it was hard to say I'm going back to school. My friends had either all been fine with their undergrad degrees or moved on to get a Master's immediately.

I was one of those students who knew what they wanted out of college: BA in Communication Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies (I added in a history minor for fun), take media classes and learn about journalism, have a journalism internship, write for the paper, graduate with a job in hand.

Well, I did most of that. My job that I had when I graduated was not truly in my field; however, communication was definitely a key part of it. It was not a job in journalism or social media. So after taking the summer and fall off from classes, I somehow ended up back in school.

However, I will say I am grateful for the time I took off from school. From the time I started my Freshman year of college to the time that I graduated, I only took one summer off completely. Plus, the time did allow me to save some money. I am definitely proud to say that I have not had to take out a single loan for any of my classes or for any additional education costs. However, I have worked two jobs since last June (so coming up on a year now). One of those jobs is at my former elementary school. About half of my previous teachers are still there, and many more knew who I was.

Those teachers are influencing the teacher I am becoming. I have learned to differentiate for the different needs of students. I have learned to listen, and that it is okay to be wrong. I have learned how to correctly "punish" a student and now that I am justified in my decisions. I have more hands on experience than the average student going into student teaching. I've lead reading groups, taught math intervention groups, and completed various student assessments.

I am also grateful because I truly believe in being a servant leader. I hope my current students can see that. I believe in serving those and that it will come back in good spirits later on.

I've learned more about the recent technology advancements than I ever would have learned just doing practicums.

Back to the real point of this post though, I really went back to school because I knew I needed a change. I was unhappy doing what I was doing. I felt taken advantage of at my current job at the time and knew that I was not going to make the advancements I wanted to make. I also knew that I did not want the lifestyle that my job at the time required. I couldn't work until 7 or 8 at night and then have a social life as I'm typically in bed at 9 or 10 (the early bird gets the worm after all). However, I will say that I learned many valuable things at my first job out of college, but that's for a future post.

So, I thought back to when I started CNU. I wanted to be a journalist. Why? I loved the fact it was different every day. I loved that I got to go somewhere and travel. I loved that I could learn something new every day. I sat down and thought about it, what else is like that?

The light bulb went off: teaching.

You get field trips, you spend a lifetime learning (from both your children and from Professional Development). You do something different every day. The activities might be the same year after year but you have a whole new crop of students to share them with. I can go somewhere during the summer and learn even more.

While I am sad that I did not realize this at first, I am so glad because my journey has taught me so much and has made me a better teacher in the long run.

Plus, at the end of the day, it isn't how fast you get to the end goal. I know that I will treasure my experiences in my future classroom even more. Plus, I got to share things with my current kids that I will never get to experience in my own class just because I'll be playing a different role. I know that my licensure will seem that much more to me because I earned it, there was nothing about this handed to me.

I know that I will be a better teacher because I made the decision to go back to school because I want it that much more.

with southern grace,

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with southern grace,