I’ve wanted to be a reporter since about second grade. I’ve rarely diverged from that desire and when I did, it still involved research and writing. I love just about everything about my job: the people, the writing, the trust, everything.
But times are a changin’ and I must change with them.
I’ve learned I can’t live on what I make as a reporter, not now. I have been with my current company for five years and make one dollar more an hour than I did when I started five years ago. I don’t have to tell anyone that my expenses have gone up more than that!
I’ve looked for jobs in Tulsa because that’s where I want to move. The one place I would feel comfortable working doesn’t want to hire me. So that idea is out. I am too loyal to go work for my paper’s competition so that is out.
So then I thought about changing my career to something similar to my field, which would be public relations. I tried for a few jobs but just couldn’t get my heart into it. I think they could tell, because I didn’t get past the first round of interviews. I just can’t get into the idea of public relations. It feels too risky right now.
Throughout all of this, the idea of leaving my job would literally bring tears to my eyes. I love everyone at the schools and I love writing. I don’t want to give it up.
It then hit me. Become a teacher.
I’ve always scored high on aptitude tests for being a teacher but always thought I would hate it. But I’ve learned to love the education atmosphere through my job as an education reporter.
There is a program in Arkansas, and actually most states, where someone with a four-year degree in anything can take education classes that basically teaches them how to be a teacher. In Arkansas it’s called the nontraditional licensure program and it requires that I take three preliminary courses and then I can apply for the program.
It will take me two years to complete but the cool thing is, you are required to get a teaching job while you’re in the program using a provisional license. The three classes I have to take ahead of time will actually be much more expensive than one year in the program but I can get loans through the government or even my local bank.
I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people and I know I’m putting this on a public blog. I’ve already told my immediate supervisor at work and he is supportive.
I’m still sad about leaving journalism and I don’t know what I want to teach yet. But having a teaching job will keep me in the schools, is a transferrable skill, pays a lot better and will give me time to write.
I’m both looking forward to and scared of this new adventure.