Teaching: My Career Paradigm Shift

After nearly two decades in the technical writing business, I decided to take the plunge into a new career that would make a worthwhile contribution to society. In 2008, I attained a Virginia teacher's license and became a fifth-grade teacher.

My 2008-2009 school year was the most difficult period of work that I have experienced. It's a relentless job, one which makes all other aspects of one's life take a back seat (the yard didn't get mowed until May). I'm pleased that my class posted the highest standardized test scores in my school, but I discovered along the way that the everyday management of 22 students did not mesh well with my personality.

I have chosen not to continue my position as an elementary school teacher, but I hope I can use the lessons from my year of teaching to address my interest in children's issues. I'm not taking teaching off the table entirely; I believe I exceeded expectations as a first-year teacher, and I suspect that, given a slightly different situation, I could succeed as a teacher and find career satisfaction.