Reasons For A Career Change

Aimee and her 2nd cousin

Most kids want nothing more than to run and play when school is out.

Not me.

As a child, when I wasn’t in school, I  either buried my nose in a book or played school with my friends and siblings.  Naturally, being the oldest child in my family, I always played the teacher.

While my brother and sister didn’t particularly appreciate this, I discovered as a 7-year-old that my next door neighbor’s preschooler was a willing student. So I spent a few days teaching her how to write her name.

I do remember helping her through the process – but what sticks in my mind the most is the day her father stopped by our house to tell my mom how impressed he was that I had taught his daughter how to write her name.  I believe this is when I realized how gratifying teaching can be and how much of an impact it can have.

In the following years, several teachers encouraged me to draw and write. I’ve won some elementary school awards for both, but didn’t really connect my talents to a possible career until I was in 7th grade. That year, my English teacher told me she enjoyed my writing style and wanted me to be on the yearbook staff the next year. During this time of my life, I was a tiny bit insecure, so I took her comments with a grain of salt.

I signed up for a drafting class instead. And during the first week of school, while sitting in that class, a student aide brought a note requesting my presence in the office. Now, I almost never got called to the office and always tried to be a good student, so I was understandably upset by this development.

All the way to the office, I racked my brains trying to figure out what I could have done wrong during the first week of school. I was very curious when I arrived at the office and discovered the yearbook adviser and my former English teacher waiting for me. They wanted to know why I hadn’t signed up for the yearbook staff. I was so impressed by how far out of the way they were willing to go to get me on staff that I changed my schedule on the spot.

The next year, I served on the school newspaper staff, where I discovered that ink runs in my veins.

Over the years, I worked towards my goal of becoming a professional writer, forgetting that my first love was actually teaching. I achieved my writing goal, but realized sitting around writing all day isn’t having the impact on lives that I crave. So I tried running a web design, hosting and marketing company. While I’m good at these things, I still wasn't having the greatest impact on people’s lives that I could.

Through a short teaching stint at Mid-America Technology Center and then substitute teaching at Noble Public Schools, I remembered my first love.

When I combine teaching with my love of writing, and my conviction that being able to write and communicate effectively will significantly improve a child’s current life and his ability to provide for himself, relate to others and contribute to society, I can no longer ignore the mission of my life.

I am here to guide, educate and uplift children so that they can become happy and productive adults.

This is why I want to become a teacher.

This is the mission in my life for my own children.

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

  1. How awesome Michelle! So many people go through life without this discovery so consider yourself lucky that you’re able to identify and follow through with your dream.

    1. Thank you, Christina!

      I know people who are my age and older who are still floundering with no clue why they are here and what God’s purpose is for their lives. And really, for the longest time, I floundered as well, even though I didn’t know it.

      It’s amazing to see God’s plan for my life unfold. I wish everyone would take that opportunity for themselves!

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