What did you want to be when you grew up vs. what you are today?
I always wanted to be a writer. Since I could remember, words … Psych!
Of course, I didn’t grow up wanting to write. I hated writing. I still get flashbacks of cramps when I see one of those little penmanship books. Like many children, I wanted to become a teacher when I grew up. It wasn’t because of a favorite teacher or anything like that. I liked standing in front of people and telling them what I knew.
I like being smart and right; it was the essential motivation that drove me to become an educator. It wasn’t until I became older that fulfillment from conveying knowledge to another overrode my hubris. I was usually the oddball at school. I spent a lot of time in corners, working or eating alone. But, every so often, a classmate would come to me with a concept they just couldn’t grasp or a hard-to-solve problem. I helped them, even my bullies. It was then that I realized that I liked explaining what I knew more than just showing it.
I held a strong inclination to educate, but I didn’t seek to become a teacher. Instead, I decided to become an accountant. That was the selected major I put on all of my college applications. The prospect of working with numbers excited me at the time. So I put any teaching inclinations on the back burner. It wouldn’t be until after surviving some life blunders and catastrophes that I would set my sights on being an educator. However, I did get sidetracked.
For personal reasons, I ended up not going to college right after high school. My accounting aspirations faded. I went to work as a secretary and married. The teaching bug followed me through my new life. I taught typing and other subjects in Islamic schools until I started having children. After baby four came into the world, I decided to finally get my degree. I homeschooled my small brood by day and studied after bathing and putting them to bed. I spoke with a long line of mentors, letting each know of my objective to teach. Eventually, I walked across the stage with my family cheering in their seats.
Not long after tucking my degrees in my closet, I received an email about a coaching position. The interviewer revealed that one of my mentors recommended me, noting my zeal to educate. I accepted the position and became a writing coach in addition to a homeschooler. I spent years teaching students academic writing conventions and helping to build their confidence as writers. I am now an adjunct instructor.
Ever the educator, I make sure to set aside time and energy to assist my fellow authors with their writing processes as I traverse my own. No matter where my life takes me, teaching is a constant; it has been since I first stood to let the world see what I knew.
Let’s keep those keyboards clicking!