After I moved back to Sacramento at the end of March, my post-Korea plan was to apply for CSUS Sacramento’s single-subject teacher credential program in August, and if I got accepted, I would start the year and a half program in January. In the meantime, I would substitute teach during the day and wait tables at night to earn and save money for school.
Yeah, those plans haven’t been working out so well these past three and half months. In fact, they aren’t going to work out at all.
It started when I didn’t get any of the subbing/tutoring jobs I applied for, leaving me with only my part-time restaurant job for income. Then I did poorly on one of the tests I needed to pass before applying to the credential program. Then a huge financial hardship got in the way of me being able to save any money for school. Then I realized that a couple of my co-workers (who already have teaching credentials and teaching experience) are working in a restaurant because they can’t find teaching jobs. Then I read this, and that pretty much solidified my decision to not pursue a teaching career anymore.
I didn’t want to give up my dream of becoming a teacher. In fact, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I finally decided to let it go because I realized that my “dream” wasn’t a dream; it was a plan I had made for myself because I didn’t know what I should do with my life once I moved back to California.
Teaching English in Korea is what made me want to become a teacher in the first place; I loved my job in Korea so much, it had me convinced that I would love teaching in America as well. But then I came home from Korea and, after talking to many experienced American teachers, I realized that teaching here would be completely different than teaching there. In Korea, I never had to deal with unmotivated students, crazy parents, and long hours of grading/lesson-planning; I only got to experience all of the fun, good things that come with teaching, and in a country where education is highly valued and teachers are appreciated. Teaching in America means I would have to deal with unmotivated students, crazy parents, and long, strenuous work hours on a daily basis, and in a country where the education system is failing and teaching is one of the least respected professions. Oh, and let’s not forget that teacher’s today are getting laid off left and right, and many of them can’t find new jobs, despite the fact that they have the education and experience.
So, in a nutshell, I have decided not to spend the time and money to get a degree that won’t guarantee me a job I will love when I graduate.
As for a new career goal, I have no idea. I recently got promoted at my restaurant as a Shift Supervisor: I’ll be working full-time and getting management experience to add to my resume, which I’m pretty happy about. But being a Shift Supervisor at a restaurant is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. To be honest, I’m not proud of the fact that I’m 27 years old with a college degree and working in a restaurant again, but I do feel fortunate to have a good full-time job during this bitch of a recession. So there’s that.
In a way, I’m frustrated that my post-Korea plans didn’t work out because not only do I have to start over, but I am left feeling like I don’t know what’s next and I don’t have control over my life right now. (I HATE that feeling!) But at the same time, I’m kind of relieved the teaching thing didn’t work out, because like I mentioned earlier, becoming a teacher isn’t my passion; it’s just something I thought I could do to make use of my English degree and my one year of teaching experience– it’s something I thought I could do because I didn’t (and still don’t) know what to do with my life. So instead of dwelling on the fact that I have to start over at 27, I’m going to be thankful for the fact that Life has steered me away from taking the wrong path towards something that isn’t right for me.
Have you ever made life plans for yourself that didn’t work out? Are you happy with your current job? Or are you settling?