I love teaching. It is a unique and particular rush to give someone knowledge and understanding of something. I cherish those moments when the light bulb goes off over a student's head and they get what ever concept I am attempting to explain. There is a saying about family that states the best and worst thing about it is that it's yours. I think the same can be said for students. Ask any of your teacher friends and they will tell you that their students are great, and they probably are. Of course, there are those students who don't care, are unfocused, or are just lazy. These students make teaching a nightmare. If you ever wondered why teachers take sabbaticals it's because of students. I'm on a sabbatical of sorts currently. I am working outside of a classroom setting. It's been a while since I've done this, but I think it will be good for me. Let me explain.
I'm currently working as a Project Manager for a real estate company. It's an office job, a job type I haven't had for close to three years. The first thing I realized is how communal office jobs are. Sure, you have your personal work space, but you're surrounded by co-workers. There is idle chatter throughout the office and often questions can only be answered by someone else which means finding that person to complete the work you have to do. Being in an office really brought into clear focus how individualized teaching is. I have co-workers at my teaching job, fellow instructors and teaching professionals, but when I am in my classroom, I'm the boss. It is on me to instruct my students, follow up on their learning and move them as individuals and as a class down the path of learning goals I have set for the day, week, month, semester. It's all on me.
I don't think there is a direct matching position in the sphere of office jobs. I've seen teaching as a team event. Two teachers in a classroom, or a teacher and an assistant teacher helping to guide students as well as supporting each other with the learning goals. I think it's a type of teaching that can work if both people are on the same page, but that is only a link between two people. In an office there are multiple people to interact with, even in small office setting.
That being said, I'm rather enjoying my time as a Project Manager. It requires me to use skills that I don't usually employ while teaching. These other skills are rusty and stiff from lack of use, but as I get more comfortable in my role, these skills loosen up and become flexible and readily available. Much like physical cross training which shocks the muscles in the body to do things they don't normally do during a workout, the Project Manager position is like a mental shock.
I'm looking forward to returning to the classroom in the fall with these other skills fresh in mind and ready to be put to use along side my teaching skills. I'm excited because being a Project Manager will make me a better teacher. Like I said, I love teaching.