One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to choose a career based on interest, not money. This philosophy might not fit everyone's personality... but it has suited me just fine.
During my second year in college, my counselor told me I needed to decide what degree I wanted to pursue. Up until then my parents figured I would follow my father's footsteps and become a computer engineer. I always enjoyed math and working on computers, so it made sense. But after taking a few Early Childhood Education courses, I had found a new interest. Education.
Twenty-something years later, I can honestly say I've never regretted that decision. I absolutely love my job. Don't get me wrong. It's not all fun and games. There are report cards, grading assignments, parent issues, yard duty, staff meetings, and the occasional annoying student.
But for every one of these negatives there are a multitude of positives. The one that stands out the most is the appreciation you receive from parents and students. There's just something priceless about a former student coming back and saying "thank you". It's truly amazing how powerful those two words are.
A few weeks ago, one of my former students visited me during summer school. I hadn't seen or heard from her in several years, but I immediately recognized her. She wanted to let me know that she had been accepted to UC Berkeley and was starting there in the fall. You can imagine how proud I was of her to hear that. She also thanked me for helping her through middle school and getting her prepared for high school.
It was nice catching up and reliving memories... most of which I totally forgot about (sorry... I'm getting old). Eventually I had to get back to my summer school students (don't worry... they were at recess). But before we said goodbye, she handed me a gift bag with this in it...
Four years after she left my class, she still remembered that I am a San Diego Padres fan. How cool is that?
I have seen these Pop Vinyl figures at toy shows before, but never knew they made MLB mascots until then. I actually went out and purchased a second one on Amazon, so I can keep one in my classroom and have one for my office.
Thank you Stephanie! Best of luck at Berkeley. Go Bears!