When I was 8, if you had asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have told you I wanted to be a teacher. I don’t think I ever thought I would be anything else. I mean, sometimes I thought about owning a store, or a cafe. I might have dreamed of being a dancer or an actor. But for sure the only thing I ever really wanted to be was a teacher.
In October of my senior year of college several of my friends and I went on a trip. I was sitting at dinner with one of the girls I didn’t know as well and was asking her questions. I asked what she was going to do after college. She had no idea. She chose her major because it was something that she was pretty good at. Until then it had never occurred to me that anyone was going to graduate from college without knowing what they wanted to do. I thought that’s what college was, the gateway to what you were going to be when you grew up. Looking back most of my friends are not working in fields related to their majors, but then, that would have never occurred to me.
When I was a kid if you asked me what my favorite things were I would have said reading and playing on my computer. This may not be so strange now (the computer part), but I grew up in the 1980s. I’ve had a computer since I was 2 or 3. I don’t remember not having a computer. My memory of my first computer is that it was a CBM, but the screen on that one looks too big. I also had a Commodore 64 and a Tandy. I had all sorts of learning games, including the original Math Blaster and something called a Koala Pad. All the images on my first computer were green on black and created by ASCII text.
Here I am now. 34 years old and wrapping up my 11th year of teaching. 11 years of running a computer lab in an elementary school and 10 years teaching reading, too. A job that didn’t even exist in my elementary school days, hopefully leading kids to jobs that don’t even exist now.