Teacher by Default – Profesora por Defecto

Teacher by Default

When I was growing up, I dreamt and I dreamt big. As far as I can remember, I’ve
always loved to travel, and as a child, when grown ups would ask me, what do you want to be when you grow up? My response was always a pilot. This profession meant that I would fly really cool planes, and I’d travel!

As an adult, I didn’t become a pilot. I became a teacher- that is, by
default.

Why teacher by default? Webster’s Dictionary defines default as “a selection made usually automatically or without active consideration due to lack of a viable alternative.”  Somewhere between middle school and high school I stopped dreaming. College came around, and now my focus was on a career where I could make money and support myself.
Naturally, I did what a lot of people do.

I went to Long Beach State (in Southern California). At the time, I was studying Spanish and Italian, and I thought teaching would be a viable profession for me. Not to mention, I had the pressure of choosing a major, and I decided to continue studying Spanish. So, I chose Spanish as my major and becoming a high school Spanish teacher seemed like my ideal job. While my plan was to get my master’s degree in Spanish and teach high school, life had others plans for me as I became an elementary school teacher at the age of 23.

Nine years later…

Ms. Cárdenas in 1998 :)
Ms. Cárdenas in 1998 🙂

It is now 2007, and I’m in the middle of a divorce. Exhausted and burnt-out, I took time for myself from teaching. I’d thought it’d be only a year, and it turned to be about five years. During this break, I traveled; I
went to school in Spain; I’d go back to school for a master’s degree in linguistics; I substituted; and, I began to write my memoir. In other words, I nurtured my soul.

After five years, I once again had my own class. 

My students were now adults, and I taught English as a Second Language (ESL). It was a wonderful opportunity, and I loved it.

And after a few months with my adult students, I started teaching high school.

Teaching was the profession that I chose, and I have done it with all the love in the world. As a teacher, my intentions were to help others and to inspire them. This past May, I received the most endearing letters from two students, and this was all I ever wanted as a teacher. I am grateful for the opportunity, and the experiences that I’ve had in this profession.

I feel the time has come to take a different direction in my life.

My childhood dream was to be a pilot. Now, my dreams are taking that child-like quality again, and I couldn’t be more appreciative. What will manifest from these dreams of mine? I know for sure that it will involve helping others through speaking and writing. As always, thank you for reading.

What are your dreams? Are you following them? Do you have a profession by
default?

Profesora por Defecto

Cuando era pequeña, soñaba y soñaba en grande. Siempre me ha encantado viajar y me acuerdo que cuando era niña me preguntaban, “¿qué quieres ser cuando seas grande? Siempre les contestaba que quería ser piloto. ¡Esto significaba que iba a volar aviones
padrísimos y viajaría, también!

No me convertí en un piloto. Estudié para ser maestra- por defecto.

¿Por qué profesora por defecto? Wikilengua define por defecto como “Dicho de seleccionar una opción: Automáticamente si no se elige otra.” No sé el momento preciso cuando paré de soñar, pero sucedio cuando estaba en la escuela secundaria o preparatoria.
Obviamente, hice lo que hace mucha gente.

Fui a la universidad y me enfoqué en escoger una carrera para ganar dinero y mantenerme. Estudié en California State University, Long Beach (Universidad Estatal de California, Long Beach) en el sur de California. En aquel tiempo, estudiaba español
e italiano y creía que el ser profesora sería una profesión viable para mi. Además,
tenía la presión de elegir que estudiar y decidí por seguir estudiando español. Pensé que mi trabajo ideal sería ser maestra de español. Mi plan era de dar clases en español en una preparatoria,pero el destino tenía otros planes para mi y me convertí en maestra
de escuela primaria a los 23 años.

Pasan nueve años.

La Profesora Cárdenas en 1998 :)
La Profesora Cárdenas en 1998 🙂

Ahora es 2007 y estoy por divorciarme. Cansada agotada de mi trabajo, decidí parar de trabajar por un tiempo y tomar un descanso.  Pensé que solamente iba a ser por un año, pero fueron 5 años. Durante este tiempo, viajé, estudié en España, hice mi maestría en lingüística, trabajé como profesor sustituto y empecé a escribir mi memoria. En otras palabras, alimenté mi alma.
Después de cinco años tuve mi propia clase de
nuevo. 

Ahora mis alumnos no eran niños sino adultos. Di clases de Inglés como Segundo Idioma (ESL) y me
encantó.

Solamente trabajé con adultos unos meses y luego empecé a dar clases en una preparatoria. 
Elegí la enseñanza como mi profesión y lo he hecho con todo el cariño del mundo. Como profesora, mis intenciones fueron de inspirar y ayudar a mis alumnos. En mayo, recibí dos cartas hermosas de ellos. Como profesora,  es todo lo que he querido. Estoy agradecida por la oportunidad y la experiencia que he tenido en esta profesión.

Siento que ya he llegado el momento de tomar otra dirección en mi
vida.

Mi sueño de niña era de ser pilota. Ahora, sueño de nuevo como niña y lo aprecio todo. ¿Qué se manifestará de mis sueños? Sé con certeza que va a involucrar a ayudar a los demás mediante el habla y la escritura.

Como siempre, gracias por leer.
¿Cuáles son tus sueños? ¿Los estás siguiendo? ¿Tienes
una profesión por defecto?

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “Teacher by Default – Profesora por Defecto

  1. I am so grateful that you spent time as a teacher. You were a wonderful colleague and mentor and you touched so many lives. What an exciting time for you! Can’t wait to see your dreams come true, Elizabeth! You deserve it!

    Like

  2. LL=large like… 🙂 I’m a former highschool teacher… 🙂 I lived in Houston, TX for 5 years and I taught at 2 Montessori schools, a wonderful experience… hasta luego y abrazitos, Mélanie

    Like

  3. I’m delighted to find you, or you found me, or whatever happened in blog world. Teaching is a noble profession of helping people of all ages to learn more about a subject and more about themselves. I’ve been one for forty years and still love it. Before that, I had a couple of career changes that also had their charms. I think we are called to serve in different capacities, and this may be the time for you to explore possibilities. One of the changes I made midway in my teaching years was to serve in the Peace Corps for two years teaching English to university students in Slovakia. You might consider throwing that into your basket of choices as it is a most satisfying
    “toughest job you’ll ever love.”

    Like

    1. I’m glad we found each other. 🙂 Teaching is a noble profession. However, after so many years, something inside me is just telling me it’s time to move on. I’ll consider the Peace Corps. Thank you for following me, and have a wonderful day.

      Like

  4. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed
    reading it, you happen to be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and will
    eventually come back very soon. I want to encourage you
    to continue your great job, have a nice morning!

    Like

  5. When I was a child I first wanted to be a priest, but did not like the idea of not able to be married and not having children. I also thought becoming a musical star should be the summon of mastery, because it would entail acting, singing and dancing all together. My parents did not like it at all me wanting to go in to theatre. Against their wish I continued to follow my dreams, working hard to find my way of living in theatre. 45 years I gave my soul to the arts, whilst I never kept thinking about God and talking about how we as human beings should build up our life and find our way to make the best of it and to come closer to the Creator of all things. When I retired as a choreographer I got more time to preach and in a certain way I am back at the first steps and dreams of my life, being a preacher or workman for God.

    Like

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