What if I had stayed being a teacher?

My IT career began now more than 25 years ago. Before IT I was a school teacher. My transition was in moving to Cincinnati Ohio and starting a new life.

I do occasionally wonder what my career path would have been had I stayed a teacher. Would I have gone on to be an administrator? Could I have lasted 10 years? During an interview once a superintendent of schools said to me – you are not going to be a teacher n 10 years. In the end he was right.

But what if I had stayed? Would the Society of Dead Teachers have continued to grow? At one point there were 15000 people on the listserv all over the world.

I wonder sometimes what that path would have looked like. I would have taught more than 600 students by now. Opening doors of science and technology.

If only…

Instead I went another direction as that superintendent said all those years ago. I made it 7 years as a teacher. 3 short of ten years. Part of my desire to be a teacher was to be like my father. My father was an awesome teacher and I wanted to honor that family tradition and become one myself. My father’s oldest sister (Aunt Barbara) was also a college professor. My father’s youngest sister was also a school teacher (Aunt Patty). So the family was heavily steeped in education lore.

in the end I still wonder what may have been. I can honestly say that I never intended to be a teacher forever. I knew before I was told that I wouldn’t make it past 10 years. I had the skills but not the heart required to last longer than I did.

I guess in the end the value I got from being a teacher is the ability to quickly take a complex subject and make it real for other people. Connect with them in a language and format they understood. That is the job of a elementary school teacher. Take the complex and break it into consumable chunks.

So in the end I guess I still use the skills even if I wasn’t able to stay in education my entire career.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.