Is it possible to lay a solid foundation for your life and your career as you travel the globe? Isn’t it as paradoxical and therefore perhaps impossible as it sounds?
The structures and limitations that society place on us whether intentionally or not will always find a way to shape our thoughts and our directions in life.
Do I continue to travel the world and learn and grow, or do I settle down in a city for two to three years in order to gain enough experience to one day have my own classroom? That was my question and still is. And yet at the same time a simple shake of the jar has disturbed the decision I was on the verge of making. It’s led to another question which is this: Who is to say that in order for me to grow into an experienced and adequate educator I have to stay put in one place for years? Who is to say that I cannot create a definition of a global educator? Who is to say that the experience that I gain by meeting people around the globe, experiencing different education systems, learning about the multitude of cultures and the sheer amount of beauty that exists in this world, is not “enough” experience to one day be a lead teacher?
Breaking into any career is hard. You start out on the bottom, are under-appreciated, not given enough credit, and do not have the freedom you so badly want to be creatively expressive. Isn’t it during those years, when you’re on the bottom, that you learn the most? Does that not warrant an opportunity to be the teacher of your own classroom? After years of learning what not to do, experiencing different teaching methods, working with different communities, learning to adapt, survive, create, improvise, and collaborate? I may not have had my own classroom yet, but I’m 100% sure that learning what I’ve learned as an associate is more than enough experience to have prepared me for that day.
Ya. This post is not to vent about the scruples of what it means to be experienced or not. This post is about creating possibilities that we do not think are possible because the system that has been in place for decades says they are not so and that they have to be a certain way.
Our careers of choice have to follow a certain number and type of steps do they not? Degree, intern, entry-level, then from there if you bust your ass hard enough, you make it to the top. (I’ll let you fill in the blanks of what it is you have to experience in each of the levels and the challenges you face there). So the way I see it, when I say that I want to lay a solid foundation for my career that means that I have to be an assistant teacher for a few years in a particular school until it is deemed by that or another school that I have enough years under my belt to take the next big step. My experience working with a vast variety of populations, working with parents, developing all types of curriculum ranging from exam preparation to bilingual, are drops in the bucket and I’m expected to prove that I have learned even more. But does my immovable drive and passion and utter belief that being an educator is one of the most crucial jobs in the world not make up for the fact that I’ve been rotating around schools for 4 years rather than settling down in one for three?
By taking the first step in following my dreams of travel and moving to Spain this year I’ve embarked on an adventure whose end I’m not quite sure of. So do I go back to the daily grind and rejoin the system, where clear steps are needed and planned, or do I continue navigating through uncharted waters and create my own path with the faith that I will arrive to the other shore?