Thursday, May 31, 2012

Watching young people discover their life

To continue on with my musings from yesterday--

One of the greatest joys of my job is watching young people figure out what they want to do with their life.  And I don't know how many times when a young adult tells me the path he or she wants to follow, I want to laugh--not out of meaness but because I'm thinking, "It's about time you figured out what everyone else all ready knows!"

I saw this in my step daughter when she told us she was going to apply to Southwest Airlines to be a flight attendant.  She loves to travel, constantly on the move--this is the perfect job for her.  I saw this in my own daughter when she tentatively told me she was getting a teacher certification.  Matter of fact, I did tell her, "It's about time you figured it out!"  She's an awesome math teacher, and I knew it when she was young.  But it took a while for it to sink in.

Now another young man, former student of mine, is making some changes in his career plan.  He told me about it like he thought I might be surprised.  But I remember the books he read in 6th grade--I couldn't get enough for him!  So no, I'm not surprised. 

I love the recognition when a young adult realizes what career path to take.  Sometimes it happens in school.  Sometimes later on.  It bothers me that we as educators push students to choose a college path and a career path before they've had time to explore and see what's out there. 

If we can give our students time and opportunity to explore, who knows what they can dream up?  Who knows what career choices they will make? 

I do know when a young adult reaches the "aha!" moment in a career choice, it's magic.  And just like making a hole in one in golf--it's the reason I get up and come to work every day--just in case today is the day it happens again.

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