Ever wanted to do something and deferred it for some reason? Too expensive, not enough time, too much commitment, not enough energy, too late! All are valid reasons at some time or other. However, if that ‘something’ eats away at you, a constant nagging at the back of your mind, what do you do about it? Does anyone out there relate?
I had that feeling and I’ve talked about it here at some time or other. My first preference on leaving school, back in 1978, was to become a preschool teacher, which would have meant attending Kelvin Grove Kindergarten Teacher’s College in Brisbane. I had formed this vision of what I wanted to be, firstly because I was the eldest daughter of eight children and was comfortable with looking after little ones and secondly – well, it’s too long ago to remember if there was a second reason. I was all set to go when I was offered a place at a University to study a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education – a higher qualification than the first option but this Diploma was in Secondary teaching. Again, with blurred memories as to why I chose this course, I did and completed that study in four years.
Subsequently, I continued on my career pathway, opting in and out of ‘my chosen profession’ as my Dad used to call it. On more occasions than I can count I would profess that “I wanted to be a preschool teacher when I left school”, as though this gave me a ‘out’ from whatever else I was doing. My experience of secondary and University students over the last twenty years, struggling with career choices, led me to starting this consultancy because I empathized with the dilemma of decision making they face.
However, in the back of my mind, that voice was still nagging me. Here I was coaching students to choose with their heart, not their head, (“Choose what you love, not what makes you money”, I was saying.) when in fact, I had never done that myself.
So, at the age of 57, I decided it was time to find out if I really would have liked being a preschool teacher and whether I might have been good at it. I embraced the Maths (that I thought I couldn’t do), battled with data collection and research (which I loved) and cared for kindergarten children and babies in a childcare center for my professional experience (which was tiring). I was both exhilarated and exhausted by the experience but finally I knew. I completed a Master of Education (Early Child Teaching) in July.
I would have loved being a preschool teacher. What a joy little children are! Will I be a preschool teacher? Only time will tell. However, now I know I can be if I want to be. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to find this out.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t spend your life wondering what you could have done or could have been. Knowing what you want to study, is a gift – try not to be dissuaded by others. Seek your own path, make your own decisions. Know yourself well because when you do, you will invariably make the right decision for your future.