Don't Be Afraid to Change Course

December 9, 2013

Career change.

That's always a biggie.

It seems as though most of the people I knew when we started college didn't graduate in what they started in. After putting in years, semesters, and money into one specific career choice they suddenly change their minds.

I was one of those people, luckily I changed my path before I was stuck knee deep into something. I initially went to school for Psychology and even got my Bachelor's degree in it.
I ran into a huge issue though.

I couldn't mentally fathom what I would be doing for a job with that B.A. that would pay the bills. Jeremy was right behind me in line for graduating, and he actually knew for sure what he wanted to do. Which happened to be a very difficult specialty in Psychology.To make our lives much more comfortable I had to decide what I was going to do and quick.

Just as graduation began to approach in my last semester I ran into a Psychology classmate who decided to swap tracks and get her Master's in Education. On a whim, and I quite seriously mean "on a whim," I went home, applied to the Master's program and signed up for every standardized test they required. To prepare for this I had to take the G.R.E., Praxis I, and yet another Praxis in one insanely rushed month just to meet the application deadline.

Luckily I come from an Education family so I knew this was something I could do, I just wasn't so sure it was something I wanted to do. I pushed ahead anyway with the support and help of my "certified in everything" teaching mother.

Without her I would have struggled and possibly sunk taking classes the alternative route.

By changing the career I had trained for I just didn't know certain lingo that educators use, much less their research. Heck, I'd been in Psychology for 4 years! I made it through though, and graduated with honors I might add.

Something I didn't pull off in my undergraduate courses.

I attribute much of that success to the support I had when I decided to change my career, swapping Psychology out for a class full of children.

Now, five years later, I'm looking to do a slight change again. I've been an upper elementary English Language Arts teacher (Reading for the non-educators) for the past five years, and right now I'm looking to start classes again. Not to add on another Master's.


I want to add on another certification that would allow me to be a Special Education teacher. After working very closely with a Special Ed. Inclusion teacher last year, who quickly became a dear friend, I saw what she did daily with select children throughout the school and decided I wanted to do that too. By co-teaching with her I was able to bounce ideas off of another brain, get ideas I wouldn't think of myself, and was allowed the management I needed to run my classroom the way I dreamed I could. I want to give the same individualized help and accommodations I saw her give, and offer ideas and strategies to teachers that they might not have thought of yet.

So this time there will be another set of standardized tests, but I'll have the support of my School Psychology husband and my teacher/assistant principal, overly educated mother. These two should know a thing or two about Special Education, and I'll be picking their brains every step along the way while I make a minor career change that will grant me major satisfaction.

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