Don’t Let Fear Dictate Your Choices

Not sure what I am going to write about, but I felt that I needed to just start typing. Being a substitute teacher and swim coach has been my saving grace this past year. Even though my monetary pay is nowhere near what I used to make in construction, the reward personally and emotionally has been priceless. Hearing the kids on campus saying, “Hi Mr. Olson!” or the look on their faces when they walk into class I see that I am their sub, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As if those reasons aren’t enough to convince anyone into pursuing a teaching career, I took an impromptu poll yesterday in one of the classes I was subbing on whether or not I should pursue becoming a “real” teacher. The class overwhelmingly said, “Yes!” One of the students followed this up with, “Do you like teaching?” I said, “Yes!” And she said, “Well then you should do what makes you happy!” — Wise Child; she must have had me in another class and heard my “Find a career doing something you like” speech. So why am I having such a hard time committing to a complete career change into education?

Every excuse I can think of is rooted in some type of fear. Fear of not passing the CSETs in Math or Business. Fear of failing to connect with the students. Fear of taking on additional debt to pay for the credential program. Fear of choosing a career that is underpaid and underappreciated in our society. Fear of choosing a career that only gets paid 10 months out of the year. Fear of actually being good at teaching. Fear of having a career that I look forward to doing everyday. These are the fears that I think about as I am faced with making this decision. But what really is FEAR? Nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real right? Fear is nothing but an illusion. We make choices and those choices lead us to the next set of choices and the on to the next. If we are lucky, or motivated enough, our choices lead us down the right path, the path that will eventually lead us to living happy and fulfilling lives.

So the choice is ultimately up to me. It seems as though there are finally real options available to me regarding which direction I want to go in my professional life. Looks like I have some real decisions to make. Wish me luck!

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