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Question 7

Has your vision for the future changed because of the economy?

Photo prompt #7: What you wanted to be when you grew up.

While I may not be able to confidently say where I’ll be in five years, I certainly hope — wherever I am — that I’m utilizing my degrees and the skills fostered through my undergrad and graduate studies.

In five years time, I envision myself having settled down. I assume that I will still be living in the Boston area, preferably in a condo or similar set-up on the edges of the city. I would hope that within five years I can land a permanent teaching position somewhere within the Boston area, but that will most likely be a hard-fought and long battle just to get my foot in the door, through working first either as a teacher’s aid or substitute teacher.

Being on the tail-end of my graduate program, a move towards a doctoral program may be in the stars, but that would be a large commitment that I may save for my ten-year plan — along with forming a family.

I do plan for the future, but at this point I’ve been trying to keep my options open. By this, I mean that within a year or two I can envision myself seeking out teaching opportunities overseas and, similarly, looking for research opportunities for the work that I’ve completed. So perhaps I won’t be living in Boston as I foresee but instead living abroad putting my education and research to use. Either would be satisfying.

Growing up, I always envisioned myself entering the teaching profession. Moving through the public school system, I was never aware how competitive a field it really is, nor just how endless the amounts of work and different roles that teachers must fulfill to be successful. Well, it’s been about twenty years and my end goal still remains the same, especially after numerous experiences working within the public school system and finding myself at the head of the classroom.

While I’m not in the classroom at present, I don’t feel that I’ve had to give up on my dream. Instead, the competitive nature of the position that I want for myself and the subject that I wish to teach has pushed prospective teachers like myself to work a lot harder to get in the door and to network.

After getting my hopes up about the Teach for America program and then having them crushed so abruptly, there was a long period where I thought that I would need to put teaching behind me. That, coupled with the negative political environment surrounding education, began to frighten me and I seriously rethought my desire to return to the classroom.

Instead, I’ve changed my priorities, focusing more on building credentials, returning to school, and cranking out research and original work to build my CV and better prepare myself for the teaching profession. Actual teaching is now on the back burner as I work to beef up my knowledge about and ability to teach history.

Teaching aside, I do believe that I am still a bit young to worry about owning a home or settling down. In high school I always envisioned myself being on the run in my twenties, traveling and trying my hand at different jobs. While the practicality of that lifestyle is questionable, I know some friends who have made that work. And on the flip side I know some friends who have worked hard out of college and saved up enough money to own their own home. I do care about owning a home in the future, I just think it’s going to take me a while to get to that level. Though I will say that it’s not entirely far off as I’ve been savvy about saving.

To keep myself optimistic, I like to think this will all work out. Of course, nothing that you plan will play out exactly as envisioned, but I do believe that my goals are attainable and within reach, five or ten years down the line. A lot of work lies ahead of me, but I’m not afraid to get my feet on the ground and start running.

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