Well, this is a little something new for me. Laying out my life, passions and dreams for all to see. As a part of my Ed.D program, I established the goal to create a journal focused on leadership. The journal, which is now this blog, is going to be focused on some of the encounters I have in the field of education. Given that I am married and have two children, my family will also make an appearance from time to time.
For the last 17 years, I have been a social studies teacher in the St. Louis Public Schools. I am an alum of the school district (Central Visual & Performing Arts High School ’95) and my grandfather was an administrator and teacher in the system for over 40 years. To say I have a little connection to the place is an understatement. So, why did I go into education? Seems like an easy answer with some of the information already provided, but it is not an easy answer.
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a radio DJ or a minister. Pretty heavy stuff for a 17 year old kid. My passion in life was to help and inform people of life issues they may encounter. I went off to Drury College (now Drury University) and I changed my mind about those fields. There wasn’t much passion. Seeing as how my grandfather had been an educator, I had left open the possibility to become a teacher. After taking an introductory course and having a field experience at the local high school, I found my true passion. Teaching kids was where I felt called.
My dad, of all people, actively discouraged me from becoming a teacher. He could never give me a good reason why. I tried explaining to him that I was following my passion. He told me that real happiness came with a paycheck. In education, your pay may not necessarily match your passion, which is fine. Despite all of this, I was reminded of something someone said to me about teaching:
Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me. A great task is placed before us every single day. Fuel the passion of our students and ourselves, or let the flame of learning burn out. I knew right then and there that I was headed into the right direction.