For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a teacher.  As a little girl, I would frequently elect to stay in from recess so I could have full access to the chalkboard, whereupon I would set up my own classroom (complete with daily schedule, behavior management system, and a little pretend intercom to call the office if any "students" got out of line).

Somewhere along the line, I upgraded my dream to bilingual teaching.  I have many a scholarship essay saved on my computer rambling on about my lofty goals of educating our nation's forgotten youth.

During my student teaching, I began to have doubts about my future goals.  Major ones. I found myself searching for any and every escape I could possibly find.  And one day, my best friend Kaitlynn gave me my out:"Hey, have you ever considered social work?  I think you'd be really good at it."

I scrambled together a personal statement and some reference letters and applied to Portland State University's MSW program the very next week.  I was just sure this was where I was meant to be.  Imagine my surprise when I learned I had been wait listed.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe I should just stick to the original plan.

So, in 2009 I accomplished my dream.  Two days before I officially graduated with my bilingual teaching degree, I had a job lined up in the very district where I played teacher so many years ago.  It didn't take long, however, before my "dream" turned into a nightmare.  Suffice it to say, I hated teaching.

Though I have an intense fear of rejection, I was so miserable I had nothing to lose, so I applied to the MSW program again.  I suffered through several excruciatingly long months until finally the day arrived when our admission statuses were posted online (as a friend of mine once pointed out: things were so much simpler in the good 'ole days of fat or skinny envelopes).

I remember this day so clearly.  It was a half day, so everything was wonky and my kids were definitely pushing my every last button.  My PSU admission status was to be posted by noon, which conveniently fell right in the middle of our 15 minute lunch (elementary kiddos get no time to eat).  Not willing to risk collapsing into a pile of tears in front of my third graders, I forced myself to continue with business-as-usual and read "Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing" aloud to them while they scarfed down their disgusting bologna sandwiches drenched in mayo.  Luckily, my kids love Fudge (the character, not the dessert), so they were pretty oblivious to my obvious discomfort.  I kept glancing at the clock, anxiously awaiting 12:15 when my classroom door would open and belch out a smattering of giddy children, gleeful for their half-day of "freedom" (you know, because the other half of the day was "torture").

I closed all my blinds and tiptoed over to my computer.  I casually logged into my student webcenter. I grabbed a kleenex, just in case.  I took approximately four deep breaths. And then I did it.

I clicked the button that updated the screen that changed my life.

And I haven't looked back since.


Carol J. Brown said…
I am REALLY happy that you found something that works for you when teaching didn't.
Vanessa's Dad said…
Great story, well told. You have a wonderful way with prose.

God's Fingerprints are all over you and your Journey.

BreAnna said…
I love your acceptance story! I'm so glad to have met you through this journey. I couldn't imagine a better person to go through the ups and downs of grad school alongside. :)