Teacher Preparation Opinion

Self-Awareness for Self-Fulfillment in Education

By AAEE — June 17, 2015 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

I am by no means an expert in pedagogy, but I am afforded the unique perspective of witnessing many teachers’ careers from their recruitment to integration in an organization. There is a common trait, however, among those educators, who after a time find themselves in a hard-to-articulate state of uncertainty, which some find irritating. Re-evaluating whether one wants to remain in his or her current role be it teacher, administrator, specialist, etc. can be daunting. The ramifications of which can mean an overhaul of one’s life, starting from the career out.

Knowing what you want requires a significant degree of emotional intelligence and self-awareness. We ought never to undervalue the amount of time and energy invested in self-reflection that leads to the self-awareness that is directly tied to one’s career choice and correlatively one’s feeling of fulfillment. The flowchart below is a very basic tool for people in education to pair with their self-reflection process. It begins at a high level and moves the user towards subfields within education.

The purpose of this article is not merely one’s feeling of fulfillment but also to “put your aces in their places.” Dissatisfaction with your current role might not be indicative that you ought to leave education; it might simply mean a shift in position is needed. In any case, best of luck on your journey of self-discovery.

My Role in Education

  1. Do you know what you want to do for a career? (If yes » 2; if no » 8)
  2. Is the career in the education field? (If yes » 3; if no » 8)
  3. Do you enjoy instructing/talking for 4 hours or more per day? (If yes » 4; if no » 9)
  4. Do you enjoy large groups of students, 15 or more? (If yes » 5; if no » 10)
  5. Do you enjoy primary school age students? (If yes » 11; if no » 6)
  6. Do you enjoy secondary school age students? (If yes » 11; if no » 7)
  7. Do you enjoy post-secondary age students? (If yes » 12; if no » 8)
  8. Take some time to self-reflect and determine whether education is sustainable as a personal career choice.
  9. Consider a role in school administration like leadership or other supporting staff because you enjoy less instructional time, more logistics, and more task-oriented work.
  10. Consider a specialist role such as a speech pathologist, ESL specialist, private tutor, etc. because you enjoy high contact time, small-group to one-on-one interpersonal interactions, and less logistics.
  11. Consider entering/staying in the classroom because you enjoy high contact time, larger groups of students, and prefer less logistics.
  12. Consider a role in higher education because you enjoy instructional time and college-age students.

Matthew Lopez

Associate Director of Talent

Atlas Preparatory School

Colorado Springs, CO

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.