Today I had a meeting on an elementary school campus. I love when I have meetings on school campuses rather than at a school district's main office. I like to see the kids, it reminds me of the importance of what I do and that my job isn't just about case law and statutes, it is really about the kids.
Everytime I am on a school campus or talking to the teachers, I wish I had become a teacher. When I first started college, my goal was to be an English teacher. Then I wanted to go to fashion school and even applied to and was accepted at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Then I decided I would get my masters degree in something like social work. So I took (and bombed) the GRE. At some point, I decided on law school, signed up for an LSAT review class and I've now been an attorney for three years.
But every once in a while I go back to my original desire to be a teacher. I love education, which is one of the reasons why I love practicing special education law. I had a lot of anxiety about becoming a teacher. I worried that if I became a teacher right out of college (after getting a credential of course) I wouldn't have enough life experience to really get through to students. All of the teachers I had that I really respected had great life stories and experience and could bring so much to the table. I worried that a 22-23 year old really wouldn't have all that much to talk about. I also was nervous about talking in front of a class for an entire class period, an entire day. What if I couldn't remember my lesson? What if I couldn't remember the main point of the symbolism in the novel I was teaching? So I let my desire to be a teacher fall by the wayside.
I love being a lawyer, I practice in a great area of law, I work with great people, its interesting, and fulfilling. But it can be stressful. And I hate billing my time with every ounce of my being. One should not have to account for their day in six minute increments. It is near impossible. And while I enjoy being a lawyer, I don't know if I can do this for the rest of my working life. It is a very confrontational job. People are never in a good mood when they talk to a lawyer. The lawyer is only called in when something goes wrong. I know I am working to protect great educational programming in my school districts but I rarely get to see the positive side of the classes and programs I represent. I just hear the complaints. After a while, it is draining.
I worked very hard to get where I am and I don't plan on giving it up soon. But in a few years down the road, I would love to go back to school to become a teacher. Possibly a special education teacher. Iwant to see that I can make a difference in a child's life, not just that I can save a school district from some form of legal liability. It's nice to dream....