I started a PhD program in January! Aside from the looming dread of my ever-increasing student loan debt, I am SO PUMPED to be doing this.
The VERY friend who is making me do this Slice of Life Challenge made up my mind about applying for this program. This summer, while we were tanning on the beach, talking about boys and life and avoiding reading the books we’d brought, we started talking about teaching. (She’s a teacher, too, and while we generally try NOT to talk shop when we’re doing “friend” things, it’s difficult not to have good conversations with professionals you admire.) I was at a crossroads: I was looking for a new job, hoping to move into a different position, but feeling my lack of experience in the interviews. I knew I wanted to do something more, but I didn’t know what path to take.
She looked at me and said, “Well, where are you the happiest?”
I, the person who overlooks her own happiness all too often, was totally taken aback. Of course. I’m happiest at the University. I feel valued and trusted. I feel engaged and excited about working with adults and helping them to see things differently. I love learning from them and gaining insight about teaching from their perspective. I like coaching teachers in the buildings where I have worked. I like seeing the big picture and helping teachers apply steps in their practice that will help them get to that point.
So there it was: I was applying to a PhD program. I know I will learn a lot that will help me with my short term goals and put me in a position to be ready when I’m ready to meet my long term goals. And to honor my pledge of vulnerability, I’m going to share those goals with you now: I will be a Instructional Coach at the school and then district level. I will be a university professor and make at least three people call me Dr. I will eat fewer french fries.
That last one doesn’t have much to do with my PhD, but it DOES have to do with part of our conversation on the beach when we were wearing bikinis and feeling sorry for our french-fry-eating selves.