I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Actually, when I was in grade 5 I wanted to be an obstetrician – weird, right? But then I saw my brother throw up everywhere once, and I changed my mind about being a doctor.
And ever since, I never really knew what I wanted to be. To be honest, I never really wanted to be a teacher. I knew I would enjoy it, I like kids and I like learning… but I’ve lacked a passion that some people have for the field. I went to university right out of high school because it was the right thing to do. I came into a 4 year cookie-cutter program where I’ve never even had an actual elective, and at the end of it, I’m supposed to come out a teacher.
Needless to say, for this indecisive, passion-lacking girl, there’s been a lot of days where I questioned my decision.
Here’s the funny thing: I’m finding what I love. It’s been a process, both terrifying and painful at times, but my passion is developing.
I work with immigrant and refugee kids in the summer time. I started doing this when I was 18, and had just finished high school. I loved the job, and I loved the kids. We played games, did crafts, visited parks, and had a great summer. When I was about to begin the job the following summer, I thought to myself, What if we built this whole camp around language? These kids come with varying degrees of English skill, but for all of them, it’s at least their second language if not third or fourth.
So every year, that’s what we’ve worked towards. We still have a lot of fun and do a lot games and crafts, but we do a lot with language. We read and we write. We speak and we listen. Each year is different than the next, as I learn more and see what’s working and what’s not.
I’ve also been really blessed to be able to live abroad for a few months last year. I spent the first semester in Swaziland, Africa. I lived on an orphanage and I home-schooled two small boys during the day. I knew I loved my job at the daycamp, but I came home from this trip and realized how much I loved being a part of language-learning environment and that I wanted to pursue teaching ESL/EAL.
I was able to volunteer at an EAL classroom in Moose Jaw for last semester where most of “my” kids (from the summer) go to school. Every time I left, I left thinking, I love this. It’s a good feeling.
Then, just last week, the most incredible opportunity came up. UR International advertised a Student Coach position (like a tutor) for EAL students at the university. A professor of mine brought it to my attention and encouraged me to apply. It’s related to things I do already and it’s another step in a certain direction. I did apply, and they gave me the position yesterday.
I don’t say these things to toot my own horn, and I really don’t want that to be the tone of this post. I’m just so excited. I’ve honestly never known what I wanted to be. A teacher felt like the right thing most days, but I never felt 100% sure. Now, I see how all these things are lining up, and how different I feel – not overwhelmed or uncertain, but excited. And, it’s only the beginning.
When I grow up, I want to teach EAL 🙂