You may have noticed that my posts have been extraordinarily inconsistent. I guess in a way, I could try and claim that the inconsistency of those posts is actually consistent but let’s not go down that rabbit hole.
I created this blog months ago, in the midst of my fourth and final year of a double degree, and at that time I was 100% sure that in 2019 I’d be enrolling in postgrad study on my way to doing a PhD in education. I thought that if I had some kind of public voice where I could express opinions about different issues that I was interested in, that I’d be able to understand my own thoughts a little better, and (hopefully) inform other people about different issues as well. I had very good intentions – two posts per month about relevant topics, minimum 500 words per post, released the same day and time each fortnight. Look at how poorly that turned out!
A lot of my priorities have changed over the last few months – I still plan on (one day) going back to uni and getting my PhD, but some amazing opportunities came up so those other plans are on pause for the moment.
For most of my degree I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go into teaching even though that’s the career my degree was setting me up for. My placement experiences weren’t bad per se, but I didn’t leave feeling inspired and ready to teach. I’m not sure if this was a result of the schools I completed my placements at, the mentors I had, or something else entirely – but I was certain of my decision to leave the world of teaching behind me upon completion of my degree.
My last ever placement took a bit of an unexpected turn. I ended up heading back to NSW and spent five weeks at my old high school! Side note: what a different world a school can be when you’re on the opposite side of the staffroom door… I was teaching three year 11 classes – modern history, ancient history and legal studies – and loved it. I must have done an OK job in the eyes of the school as well because on my last day, they offered me a temporary contract to begin in term 4 of 2018. I was shocked, honoured, excited and terrified all at once. This was a turning point in my life, as it was the first step away from formal education and towards the ‘real world’ and a career. It was an offer I really couldn’t refuse, so I accepted almost right away.
Fast forward and we’re seven weeks deep into term 4. I’m teaching a year 12 Aboriginal Studies class and the school has offered me a full-time position in the HSIE faculty in 2019.
If you’ve read this far, you might be wondering if this post is actually going to have any value or if you’ve just wasted five minutes of your day to read some woman’s subtle brag. Sit tight, I have a point!
In life, having plans, dreams and aspirations is incredibly important. Having a goal to work towards, or a direction to go in is incredibly helpful in pulling yourself out of slumps and maintaining motivation and drive. That’s not to say that at all times you must be working towards an end goal, because life is for living and sometimes you have to just ‘do you’. But having a goal or direction is how human beings work most efficiently. It’s a lot easier to complete an unsavoury task if you can justify it as a means to achieving a long-term goal. Similarly, when motivation levels begin to wane, knowledge that at some point the grind or the effort will be worth it helps keep us going. Does it matter, then, that my end goal has changed? No, not really. The means to either end was going to be the same (finish the degree, do well), so although my life is heading in an unexpected direction, it hasn’t made the journey that led me here any less valuable or important.
When we work hard for something and that goal ends up being adjusted or rejected, it could be seen as a failure to achieve what one set out to do. That’s OK! Failure, to me, would be not having a goal at all and live unhappily without accomplishing anything. Changing one’s direction, or not following an original plan is not a bad thing at all.
Set goals, try to achieve them, do what is right for you.