Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Decision Time

I met with my academic adviser today and she laid out two different plans for me. One includes a minor in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and one does not. The difference is approximately a year of schooling and/or student teaching. Both plans include fairly intense semesters with at least 14 credit hours and sometimes more. Both plans include at least one or two classes in spring/summer semesters. Basically, if I minor in ECE, I won't finish all my requirements until 2011. I won't have a job until 2012, at which time I'll be 36 years old. Three more years of limited income, scraping by with a crappy car, and having little stability in terms of a job. Three more years of feeling waaaaay too old to be where I am and feeling like I don't pull enough weight financially. On the other hand, I could have a "structure of the disciplines" minor and be done by 2010, possibly working by 2011 when I'm 35. Plus, this path only includes one semester of student teaching while ECE includes two. In terms of jobs though, the ECE minor will make me look really good on paper, while the less specialized minor will make me nothing more than a speck in a sea of other equally qualified, younger candidates. Hmmmmmmmm...I'm really not sure what to do.

My adviser recommended sticking it out for the extra year and getting the ECE endorsement, but SHE isn't the one who has to live this crazy life until then. When I first thought about coming back to EMU to do teaching, I never in all my life imagined it would take me this long. The bear of Elementary Ed is that it's very generalized, so there are A LOT of general ed requirements that I wouldn't have if I had chosen a different career plan.

Ugh! I wish this could be easier and more clear cut. There are sooo many requirements and forms and things to do/consider. I honestly find all of it somewhat overwhelming! At the same time, I am excited about being a teacher and I want to make this happen. I guess I'm going to go turn in my application and essay with the ECE intent, and if I decide to change my mind, I'll do that according to their procedures. It probably IS the smarter thing to do. A year can go by pretty quickly, and I DO want to teach the little ones, so I guess this really makes the most sense for me at this point.

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