Which path to chose?
This week was my last week teaching in America for the next 450 days.  Everyone keeps asking me if I am excited about leaving and my answer is always YES!  I love my job and I love what I do everyday at Antioch Community High School, well most days anyway, but my experiences in Africa and traveling the world have made me realize a new passion. This week one of my students asked me why I became a special education teacher instead of getting a degree in International Relations.  In my answer I realized that this path was something I never imagined I would travel down.  In the push to be the best possible teacher and educational leader in my own classroom and school, I found that I had the ability to fight for education for those in need far away from home.  This weekend while at a family reunion many of my amazing family members continuously asked my why I am doing this year-long trip.  As I tried my best to answer them I realized that I am currently at a point in my life that is uncertain.  My first trip to Africa was described as a way for me to improve my teaching skills while also giving back to the community.  My second trip to Africa was to continuing to do that by helping build curriculum, a skill learned in my first masters program.  In my third trip I started to realize that this was so much more than just improving my teaching skills and helping others, this was about finding my true passion in life.  Now as I set off for a 450-day adventure away from home and away from the profession, school, and country I have buried myself in the last few years, I know that I am also at a crossroads in life.  I have discovered that I have two major passions and two major directions that my life could go.  I have for a long time thought that I could walk the line between both passions but I am starting to learn that it is very difficult.  I have pushed myself in every way to try to spread the word of a cause I truly believe in (Education for All), while at the same time pushing myself professionally to be a better teacher and a leader in Education within my school district.  Throughout this experience I have learned that I have to eventually pick one.  It is my goal over the next year to live life as best I can and hopefully learn which passion is more important to me and decide which one I should to pursue.  I love everyone who has helped me find my way down this crazy journey and although it is not what my family or I thought it would become I am very interested to see where it may take me. 

So to answer your question Emily- I did not pursue International Relations because that path did not present itself until after I had all my fabulous experiences in education.

To answer your question Uncle Dan- I am doing this to try to find my true passion in life and determine which path I love more and wish to follow.

And to my mom- I know you are worried you are losing me once again, but I promise I will always find my way home, regardless of the snakes or sharks I have to wrestle to get there.   I love you!

6/8/2011 06:59:20 am

Good luck Ms. Elliot! I hope you have a great trip and I'll miss you next year. I plan to keep reading your blog


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