Guest Blogger: The Best Job I Never Had
Let me introduce Aaron Peck to you (again). He's written as a guest blogger here before. He is currently aTherapeutic Day Treatment Counselor working with elementary-age kids with National Counseling Group. He served on staff with us at Northstar Church before that. Aaron blogs consistently over at the Confusing Middle. He's also a dependable movie buddy. I asked him to write about "The Best Job I Never Had."
The best job I never had?
That's a tough one. How do I know it's the "best" if I've never had it? Seems like a grass-is-always-greener kind of thing.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Hey. I'm Aaron. But you can call me A-A-Ron, everyone else does.
I look back at my life and I don't have any regrets about anything that I have or haven't done. That's because I'm aware that every decision, for better or worse, has led me to where I am today. Even the ones that I look back on realizing they were kind of boneheaded decisions, I can see where God was at work, constantly using me, the people around me, my circumstances, to shape me into the man he was shaping me into. But just because I have no regrets doesn't mean I'm not able to look back and wonder, "What if?"
For undergrad, I attended Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia. Don't worry if you've never heard of it. There are only about a dozen of us who have. It was a great school and I loved each of my five years there. That's right, I had a super senior year. Don't judge... I got two degrees out of it. Anyway, when I started out as a freshman, I had all these grand plans of getting a degree in education and becoming a teacher.
I had an amazing third grade teacher, Mrs. Caldwell. Her influence made me want to teach elementary school. I always thought that, if she could have as much fun as she seemed to have teaching and make learning as much fun as she made it for her class, then it must be a pretty awesome way to make a living. Then I went through the registration process and realized just how much work was involved with majoring in elementary education. At that point, I decided that teaching wasn't for me. Because I was lazy.
Fast forward a few years. I was working as a day treatment counselor in an elementary school. Being in classrooms each and every day reminded me of how badly I'd wanted to be a teacher when I was younger. I looked back fondly on so many of the teachers I had growing up and thought about the impact they had on my life. I wanted to have that kind of impact on classrooms full of kids, too. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that, as a counselor, I was making an impact on the kids I was working with. But, mostly, I just felt like the bad guy, correcting negative behaviors and attempting to encourage positive behaviors. But mostly correcting negative behaviors because kids these days!
That desire to become a teacher didn't go away. So I attempted to pursue it. I looked into my options in the Commonwealth of Virginia and saw that I could work toward teacher licensure and a master's degree all at the same time. And I could do it online from the comfort of my own home. That's the dream! Y'all, I got one semester in and just couldn't do it. The program was intense. And trying to do that on top of a full-time job (which required me to commute, spending two hours a day in my car) and a part-time job to make ends meet just didn't work out.
And in case you're wondering, I didn't drop the program because of laziness this time. I've matured since freshman year of college. I'm much more self aware. When means I realize that I'm a horrible procrastinator and not having a rigid class schedule like I'd have had were I taking classes on campus somewhere meant that I just couldn't seem to make time to get all my assignments done in a reasonable amount of time. Oh, I got them all done all right. I just got them all done at the last second when they were piled on top of each other. That's a great way to develop an ulcer.
I believe that teaching is one of the noblest professions out there. And it's a mostly thankless one. It takes a special kind of glutton for punishment to do what a teacher does day in and day out. It's common knowledge that our nation's teachers are overqualified and undercompensated for all that they do. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I'd have made a pretty decent teacher if I'd ever stuck with either of the programs that would have led me down that path. But I also know that I would have gotten into the job and questioned on more than one occasion if I thought it was worth it. I hope I would come to the conclusion that, yes, it's all worth it. But I'm sure I'd have questioned it.