The path of education fell upon me by surprise. By the time I reached the end of high school, I was already well aware of what my career would be. I had been accepted to one of the country’s top university and was going to pursue a career in Voice Performance. It was all planned out; it was all so clear in my head. But then, came the time to choose my classes for my thirteenth and last year in school. Knowing I was going into the field of music, that meant I didn't require a whole lot of electives and therefore, sought easier courses (also known as ‘bird courses') to fill up my schedule. That being said, I signed up for the Cooperative Education course, which allowed me to volunteer in a music class at the local middle school. Needless to say, my set path began to blur itself more and more, day by day. A couple of years later, and many decisions later, while completing my undergraduate degree in composition, I had the opportunity to teach music at the middle-school level. My mind was finally set, a career in education was the path I needed to take.
Starting my teaching career before acquiring my certification was both exciting and nerve-wracking. However, it has enabled me to take some time and reflect on what my aims and goals were as an educator, and in turn, determine what skills I would need to develop to achieve these goals. Being the son and grandson of teachers allowed me to have a confident grasp on the world of education long before stepping foot in the classroom; however, some things aren't at all what they seem once you're standing there in front of students. In the months that followed my appointment, I spent time reflecting on the teachers I had in the past and what methods they had used to both motivate and inspire me as a student. Feeding on these educators, some of which were now my colleagues, I was able to bring out specific skills and attributes that were dormant in me. Having always been a great listener, I gave my students the opportunity to have their voice, and speak out for what they truly believed. The perfectionist in me may have had to take a step back, but it also meant that I expected nothing but the best from my students, leading them to challenge themselves to the best of their abilities within their realm of their potential. Not all animals can climb a tree, but that doesn't mean they don't have potential. Having acquired an extensive knowledge in music (music lessons since the age of 9, many travels around the world for performances, and an undergraduate degree in music history and composition) before my teaching career meant that I carried a more vibrant and fuller baggage that I could then share with my students. Despite all the positive life experiences that allowed me to better my teaching career, some negative experiences have helped me along the way too. As the victim of bullying throughout my school years, I find it extremely easy for me to identify students who are going through hardships and require emotional support.
I have chosen an excerpt from Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken’ to preface this resume because I find it describes me and my path so well. I could have chosen the easy way out, continued my education as a performer and went on to have a career as a singer, but I chose to keep my options open and venture onto a path I had not considered. Despite questioning my decision once in a while, spending a day in the classroom reminds me that I have, indeed, taken the road less travelled by, but that has made all the difference. I hope to continue my career in education and taking many other roads less travelled by and making not only a difference in my own life but the life of my students and their future children.