During my career, I have made a couple of pit stops. Those pit stops were shorter moments of employment than I would normally have even considered. One was a situation of not being able to deal with the passing of my father and needing to leave. The other was an ethical situation that still bothers me.
That said, it is interesting how an IT career progresses. IT wasn’t a career when I started that was on my radar. It was a career in the sense that you could walk right out of college when I graduated and be an IT person. My degree, my focus, and my career right out of college were as a school teacher. I set out to follow in the giant footsteps of my father. I found out quickly that I couldn’t fill his shoes. But, I do recall in interviews superintendents saying to me “you aren’t long for education.” I thought that was an indictment of my teaching skills, so I asked them. They all said “no, you would be a great teacher, but you won’t be one long. I give it ten years.” Seems funny now that I think back. They were right (a total of three superintendents told me that. One said I would teach for four years or less. One said ten years and the other said nine years. All three were wrong. I was a teacher for seven years) in that I didn’t teach a long time.
I still teach, but now it is more by doing a presentation. I didn’t leave teaching out of some noble obligation, some grand quest. I left because I love technology. Not that you can’t be a technologist and an educator, you can. Rather that my love of technology was on the other side. Not how things work (which makes you a better teacher I am sure) rather my interest was what could I put together. My interest was not one I could do as an educator because frankly and fairly you have to help kids achieve their educational goals first. So I left teaching in the rear view mirror.
Now I am a technologist. People ask me all the time, how do I get to where you are? I tell them two paths they can take. One is to go and be a teacher for a year. Work in a 2nd-grade classroom and be responsible for everything. The other, if they are not inclined to be around children. Is to sit on the telephone helpdesk. To be a support person for a time. That is, like teaching a way to grow the skills, so many people don’t understand.
I love technology. Without question, it has changed the world in the time I have been alive. What once was is gone. Will a robot replace you is the new issue. Will AI render your job obsolete? It won’t render teachers obsolete. We need them, to see the child come to school and to look on their arms for bruises. Sure we could build an AI system that could educate kids, but in the Elementary Years of education, kids need hugs. They need a pat on the head.
Today is a wandering day. I am stuck in a moment of memories for some reason. As if remembering was even remotely important today over every other day that I awoke to blog. It isn’t, but for some unknown reason, I am stuck in the swirl that is a memory. Remembering the way things used to be, once upon a time.
I guess there are those who years ago were right. The Superintendents who said I wouldn’t be a school teacher my whole career. They had insight and vision at that time that I didn’t have. But there were others who were wrong. Like my ex-wife who told me I was best served by selling my computer and to stop playing with writing and computers and focus on being a school teacher. Otherwise, as she left, she said I would never be anything.
Sorry, ma’am, you were wrong.