by Miss Sarah (11/24/2010)
As I hung my undergraduate diploma on my wall the feeling of pride was shattered by the fear of my uncertain future. Following in the footsteps of my peers, I searched the Internet for entry-level positions in the corporate world. I can still see the joy on my parents’ faces when I told them that after a grueling interview process I had been offered a job at an internationally known company with great benefits and a starting salary that filled my friends with envy. Yet, even more vividly I can see the questioning looks I received when I told them I had turned it down. I explained to them that on my way to the final interview, I found myself secretly hoping to end up in a fender bender just so I wouldn’t have to go. I confessed to them that the expectation of graduating from college was never an issue because I enjoyed every class that I chose. Yet, I also felt that getting a “good job” after college was part of the societal expectations thrust upon me. As I found only dissatisfaction in my professional progress, I came to terms with the fact that I was clueless as to what I was going to do with my life.
I stared down at my resume searching for clues and noticed something strange. At first glance my work experience had little relation to my educational pursuits. While I held a B.A. in both Art History and Anthropology, all of my work experience was with children. As I reflected on this discovery I began to understand that my passion for Art History and Anthropology grew from my desire to learn about and to understand other people. I thrived when observing and studying people for my anthropology classes and relished the self-expression and personal growth seen in the artwork of various artists. My educational interests were fueled by my desire to observe, understand, and appreciate the uniqueness and individuality of other people. Suddenly, I opened my eyes to the reality that I was on the path to pursuing a career in education all along. I eagerly filled out applications and wrote letters of intent to schools. Just weeks later I confidently drove to OakHaven for the interview that would set my entire life into motion.
As I look forward to the continuation of my second incredible school year I cant help but look back and see where I was after college graduation. I was lost in the confusion of what I thought I was “supposed to do” and in search of what I would passionately devote my life to doing. My hope is that every child I am given the opportunity to work with will develop an understanding that he is responsible for his own choices and action in his life. I hope that he leaves the Children’s House embracing and understanding his strengths and weaknesses and that he will have confidence in his abilities and the enthusiasm to use his talents. My hope is that no child will ever feel the loss of self that I felt because here in the Children’s House he will have been given the opportunity to build a strong foundation for the rest of his life.
The capstone memory in my journey to self-discovery was the phone call I made to my mom once I had gathered the application to the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis and the informational packet on the graduate program at Loyola. Without even a “hello” from my end, I heard the phone pick up and dramatically exclaimed that I was going to be a Montessori Directress and I was going to get my Masters in Montessori Education from Loyola Maryland. In my most confident voice I exclaimed that this was exactly what I wanted and what I felt I truly needed to do not only for myself but also for the children and the future of our world. The phone was silent on the other end for a second followed by a deep sigh. I waited only to hear, “Sarah, all of us knew you were going to be a teacher from the time you were a little girl. We were all just waiting for you to figure it out on your own.”