Monday, August 18, 2008


This week marks the start of some big changes in my life. For the first time in over 5 years, I'm not going to be in the pool at the YMCA every day. Instead, I am going to be working in an elementary school as a teacher's aide.

Earlier this summer, I decided that I needed to make a change in the direction of my life. I love being at the YMCA working with the kids, getting them to learn how to swim. It is a very rewarding experience. But I know I can't just keep doing that for 20 years, for a variety of reasons. I decided that I should look into going back to school and becoming a teacher. I'm pretty sure I'd like to do elementary education, having worked with kindergarteners for years and other elementary students this year, but I could also teach high school English. The question is whether I'd like being with kids all day as opposed to the 30 minute or 45 minute spans I've had with classes at the Y. One way I could figure that out would be to work as a teacher's aide.

Meanwhile, I looked into going back to school. If I were to go back as an elementary education major, I would have to start over from scratch...only a handful of my classes would transfer. So I am going to finish my English degree, which will still take me 16 or 17 classes to do (and a few years at 2 classes a semester, maybe 3 in the summer), and then I will do a transition to teaching program. I start classes at Purdue North Central next week - Spanish I and College Algebra. It's been over 14 years since I was last in school but it shouldn't take me long to get back up to speed.

Late last week my position at Central Elementary School came quickly. I had almost given up on that part of the plan but now it has fallen into place. I am going to be working with the 5th grade in the morning and 1st grade in the afternoon. School starts on Wednesday.

As for the Y, I'm still going to teach a few hours a week. It keeps my hand in, it's something I like doing, and I could do it for a summer job.

So, it's going to be a very busy fall. Chances are good that I won't be posting much other than Sunday Shuffles and quick blog posts but you never know... Anyway, I'm looking forward to the challenge and the newness of it all.


Connie M. said...

Good for you Justin. I read your blog every now and then. I'm starting my 31st year of teaching--hard to believe. Say Hi to Jill for me. Connie Moolenaar

Justin said...

Connie, how nice and unexpected to hear from you. I hope you have a good school year too and Jill says hi back.