quarter-life mini-crisis?

so i’m not really experiencing a real crisis per se, but i am realizing that i am coming up to a crossroads. i start my senior year at carolina in a month or so and i am beyond excited! i’ll be student teaching at a great elementary school in my top grade choice (fourth grade represent) and i will be working with an amazing cooperating teacher. i’m super stoked to start working in the office again and i’m definitely looking forward to having so many new coworkers in the community (yay new friends!). despite all of this excitement though, i have to start thinking even more ahead.

do i need to take the gre soon? do i want to go to grad school right after i graduate? where do i want to go to grad school? how am i going to pay for grad school? where am i going to live? where will i teach?

i know a lot of those questions can’t be answered anytime too soon (like where i’ll teach — i have an idea of where i would like to teach, but we’ll see what God has planned), but if i’m wanting to do grad school then i’m going to need to take the gre as soon as i can, and if i want to do grad school right after i graduate then i need to start looking into applying and whatnot.

teachers, friends, and teacher friends, i employ you all for your opinion on this matter.

i’m wanting to do some kind of education track for grad school — maybe social studies education, curriculum and instruction, or literacy and language education. a good deal of the programs i’ve looked at already didn’t require classroom experience before applying (some of the schools i’ve looked at include uncw, uva, auburn, uga, wfu, elon, unc, etc. — i’m sticking to the southeast for the most part i’d say, though i’d like to stay in north carolina if i do grad school right after graduating since i need to teach in a public school for two years in state), so i’m definitely looking for some guidance.

my biggest fear is that if i don’t go back immediately then i won’t ever go back. i’ve heard so many stories about people saying they’ll go back later on down the road and then they never do, whether it’s because they don’t want to anymore or something in life just happens. i want to go back. i love learning. i want to be the best teacher i can be.

so, what would you do if you were in my position?

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9 thoughts on “quarter-life mini-crisis?

  1. You don’t know me – but I am a high school English teacher who has been teaching twenty years – I waited and got a graduate degree (started program) after 15 years of teaching.

    I highly advise you to teach first – THEN go back later after you have some experience; I think it will mean a lot more to you then. Also, as my friends recommended, go to grad school for what YOU want – not what someone else says you should have. I did this, and it made all the difference. How many of them said “don’t do what I did” – all education-related learning, very current at the time, yet outdated almost as soon as they left. Almost all was current reading – what they left craving was a deeper reading experience the dealt with questions at the heart of life or teaching or literature.

    For what it’s worth – TEACH and only teach for a while. Let your experience teaching shape the questions in your mind that you can explore later in grad experience that focuses on an area you are interested in. I chose this, and decided in favor of a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, at St John’s College (which has summer programs designed for educators)

    Good luck!
    Gordon Hultberg

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