Obviously after Sig-O and I get married, we are looking for a new apartment, most likely in an area new to the both of us. I am excited for this.
As some of you (all three of you that read this anyway, har har) may know, I started going back to school this past fall for my Master’s in Special Education. I made this decision because I was not that happy with my current job (wonderful people, wonderful kids, but lots of other issues) and figured going back for my Master’s would make me feel better and put me in a direction where I could think about having my own classroom, different job etc.
I am currently an SLP-A (speech language pathology assistant), unsure of whether or not to go for my Master’s in Speech Pathology, and even if I were sure, lack of places to go, money/time/travel issues, whatnot. My job isn’t bad; in fact there are a lot of perks to it – perks that I am realizing now. I am really good at my job. If I were to follow through with this Master’s degree in Special Education and have my own classroom as a SPED teacher, it would be like going from the pot into the fire. The question I have been asking myself lately is – do I really want to be a teacher? I can’t answer for sure with a yes. Something I thought I wanted, I’m not so sure of anymore.
That being said, I don’t want to be an SLP-A forever. I don’t like where the field of education in general is going, and I’m not sure I like where Deaf Education is going, at least with respect to being a speech and language person. I like what I do now, for now but going back to school is not making me feel better. In fact, it is making me feel worse. It is making me feel inadequate and incompetent.
There are exceptions, but the majority of professors do not teach. It is all done via PowerPoint, on-line discussion boards etc. I don’t feel like I am really absorbing or learning anything; I am just running like a hamster on a wheel to get done what is required. I lack the time to complete what is asked of me, there are always field experiences required and I have a full time job and don’t have the luxury to sit with a kid for an hour every week or MORE outside of my already crammed caseload and responsibilities. My job performance is suffering due to the strains of taking graduate classes and that really bugs me. I pride myself on my ability to perform well and do what is asked of me, and give the best to the kids I work with as well as my co-workers.
Again, long story short – I am not continuing graduate school. At the close of this semester, I am wrapping all loose ends up and taking at least the fall semester off, if not the spring. I might not even go back at all. I miss being able to read a book of my own choosing. All the baking and cooking I used to do. Doing things on a whim because I COULD. Personal fulfillment is the name of the new game.
I have this seed of an idea. It started a year or so ago. Everybody compliments me on my baked goods, and my cooking. They always say, you should open your own business. Well my friends, I am not going that far (yet) however once the semester wraps and work starts winding down, I am going to try to sell my baking/cooking items to local small, independantly run businesses (coffee places or whatnot). Give them a batch of something for free and see how they sell. It could be a bust, or it could be a very nice little side gig that I truly enjoy and am passionate about. Now, I’m not saying I want to quit working in education and start working in the restaurant business, no no no, I spent a lot of time there during high school and undergrad and frankly I had my fill. But this could be a really good, fulfilling experience, successful or not. It could blossom into something bigger, or just remain a small side hobby. Either way, I think it is a positive direction to move in.
If you never try, how will you know?