SnapShot of My Educational/Career Journey

When I was a junior in College, I worked at the University’s Learning Center tutoring students as one of the ways to make money and do something that really complimented my career pursuits. While working in the learning center, one day a fellow worker named Sarah asked if I was interested in summer work that would also compliment my education degree pursuit. She said that there was an internship at a local educational company where there would be curriculum development work under a couple of instructional designers. I gladly accepted the offer and worked as an intern for about two years before I started my student teaching. I then began my short two year career as a teacher. The internship was a great gig to say the least and, now, looking back, I see G#D’s hand in it as a way to guide me into a career path that I am now very excited about and have been for the past year or so.

Now, let me make it clear that I have great respect for the teaching occupation and that I went into teaching myself because I saw the benefits of good teaching in my own life and thought that it would be a great way to work for change in the world (you could take “change” two different ways I suppose), but when I was teaching I felt like the only change that was being made was a change in heart for me personally. I quickly lost purpose in what I was doing because I frankly could not keep my head above water with the particular teaching assignment I had (I won’t complain with the details here), but I knew that I wanted to do something for education that had a technological bend as these are the two things in life that get me most giddy (hence my ever growing fetish with http://www.ted.com).

While teaching I became very depressed as I was feeling like I was making zero difference in the world with a heart that wanted to give every ounce of energy and passion towards the Jesus movement I was only beginning (and still am) to come to terms with. It got really bad. Poor Lindsay had to deal with my very dark sides of gloom and doom for many months on end and I had to eventually quit teaching and seek counseling in order to simply maintain sanity. I felt hopeless toward making any lasting change in the people and culture that is a part of my own background and upbringing. Of course, as always, I needed and need to be that change that I want to see in the world. So, I had to make a change.

I started putting my application into any opportunity I could: coffee shops, inner-city teaching opportunities, teaching opportunities over-seas, and really anything I could find at all. I started substitute teaching and despite popular opinion about it found it to be very rewarding in many respects (and I think that has something also to say about the particular teaching scenario I was dealing with previously, but again I feel no need to bash my former employer).

Soon after I started substitute teaching there I actually landed a job up in Lansing as a science teacher yet again, but had to decline the opportunity due to the driving distance and a couple of other logistics. About a week later I came across a job opportunity at Spring Arbor University (where Lindsay works) for a help desk technology position which  greatly caught my interest as I have a natural curiosity for technology and especially in an academic setting. I also thought it would be a great place to continue my education in Instructional Design which has proved to be very true.

I just have to rejoice and praise the G#D of redemption that He not only graciously gave me the job at the help desk where I got to work along side the likes of Jason Thiede and all the outstanding people of technology services, but that He has now provided me with a job opportunity to work now as an instructional designer. Instructional Design just so happens to be what I am working towards in my masters degree right now and as this is truly what I want to do for the rest of my life. I think that one day, down the road, I would like to teach again, but at the college level and that I would like to pursue a doctorate degree as I simply cannot get enough of learning. I absolutely love to think about the opportunities that education will provide in the future of this world of G#D’s and feel deeply honored to be called to His work within it.

I don’t know who reads this blog, but I imagine if you are still reading right now you are most likely someone who has prayed for me and given me encouragement or guidance during these past few rocky years of my life out of college and for that I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mostly, I want to say thank you to my sweet, understanding, caring, loving, and beautiful bride for all her patient coaching through these career changes and for sacrificially allowing me to go to school so that I can find my nitch and better provide for our family. Lindsay is my simply my shero and my inspiration. I love you, babe.

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2 thoughts on “SnapShot of My Educational/Career Journey

  1. Dave, thank you for sharing this, I loved reading it and seeing where you have been in the past few years. Don’t you love that while the tough years of life are hard at the time, that later you can see where they led you?

    I feel like we have very similar outlooks on teaching 🙂 I never got to teach at the secondary level, but as I began to get a bigger grasp on who I was and what I wanted to be able to do, I found teaching college and continuing my own education as such an exciting opportunity. I never thought I would pursue a masters or a doctorate, but now, as you stated, the pursuit of learning and growing is like an addiction.

    You seem to really love the instructional design path…Will has wrestled back and forth on whether or not to get an IT degree from Liberty after he finishes up his masters…he’s always really loved computer/technology based hobbies. It makes such a difference in your life, as you talked about, when you are doing something you truly love and feel you are positively contributing to…

  2. I don’t read blogs often, but felt drawn by your title. I’m so glad to have played a part in your journey toward a career you’re passionate for. We miss you at the help desk but I’m totally excited to see you moving on to bigger and better things.

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