By: Joelle Charbonneau
I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I thought I wanted to be a music theater and opera performer. At least, that’s what I spent my undergrad and post-graduate schooling studying. And I guess I actually wanted to do that since I did the professional singing, dancing, acting thing for a number a years. While I bellowed arias and show tunes on stage, I also worked as a systems administrator and report analyst, which stretched my mind and pushed me to learn new things. And somewhere along the way I started teaching and wow do I love it. Helping students discover not only their singing voices, but confidence in themselves and their futures is a pretty amazing thing.
Oh yeah – and now I write. And I love that too. Some days, the need to fill the blank page stresses me out. There are moments where I wonder why I chose to sit behind a screen worrying about what comes next. But I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
The funny thing is, I never took a college level English class. I never took creative writing. And I am a writer.
I point this out because as a teacher, I work to help prepare my high school students for college. The one thing that strikes me over the years is the notion that high school students have to *know* what they want to be when they grow up. From the time students enter their freshman year of high school, there is a strange notion that they should be working toward a specific future goal. Not just getting into college or having a happy future, but taking the right classes to get them into a specific college for a future they might not even want to have when they know more about it.
I *knew* what I wanted to do with my future when I entered college. I wanted nothing more than to spend my life singing and dancing on the stage. And I still love that. But I have grown and changed and learned so much since those high school days. I’m not longer that person.
So, I guess my point to this rant is that I hope we all work to encourage our children to study something they love. To strive to learn things that matter to them because those are the things that shape their lives. I believe that filling the soul is just as important as filling the mind. When we fill both—amazing things can happen.
So---dare I ask? What did you want to be when you graduated high school and what are you doing now?