The time is coming for me to look to the next stage of life. A friend and I are both coming to the end of our baby-raising years and wondering what might be next. And to look forward I have been looking back.
A good part of any interview for a job is past experience. What in your life has brought you to this point? I strongly believe that our life paths wind in very specific directions, and that what I have been through will lead me to where I am going.
Which is why, right now, I am once again considering education. I have always loved teaching, but I think this mostly comes from my unusual education background. Just taking my 14 years of compulsory schooling, I experienced:
- french immersion
- the gifted program
- the performing arts program
- foreign student exchange
- music education
After high school, I studied more in depth about music for young children, and also on various homeschooling methods. Not to mention spending 9 years (so far) at home raising my own four children full time. I have also taught music and drama in schools, both in my mother's classroom and in my children's classes. Add to that the various years of teaching children at church and my resume is bursting.
I have a passion for teaching, true, but I also have a passion for reforming education. That seems lofty and revolutionary, both of which seem far beyond my own little existence. And yet...I constantly come back to the idea that my education shouldn't have been unusual or exceptional, but rather very common. I benefited greatly from these varied methods and I feel every student should have these kinds of opportunities. Imagine if, at your local school, each teacher hired had an area of expertise, like each of my teachers did. The children wouldn't be simply placed in one class or another at random, but individually assessed at the end of grade one to determine the type of learning style best suited to him or her. Then each child could be streamed into a class designed to maximize his or her learning. There are so many methods out there: gifted, unschooling, art-driven, kinesthetic, hands on, traditional, Montessori, Waldorf, literature-based...and these are just some of the ones I've come across. That's not to say every school could offer them all, but right now one teacher is desperately trying to accommodate too many learning styles. The result is that a few are benefitting, but most are struggling, just getting by at best, or failing at worst. Even if a school had only three teachers in a grade, you could be running three very different classrooms, and the administration could do their best to assign children to a successful environment.
As usual, when I start to write about concrete plans, I have meandered off into ideas. Ah, it's just one path, but one toward which I certainly might have been pointed.