I started a new chapter in my life this week. I’m now in a Masters program to get my teaching credential for the state of California. I’ll be a Math teacher. Yup, I’m chucking technology and going into something that can have a lasting impact on society.
Over the past fifteen years I’ve created programs and worked on projects for weeks and months at a time that became obsolete and tossed aside with absolutely nothing to show for the years of work and experience it took to create them in the first place. It kind of leaves you with a WTF feeling about doing it at all.
There is a scene in the Jack Nicholson movie “About Schmidt” where he sees his entire life’s work at an insurance company boxed up and left by the dumpsters after he retires. I don’t want that to happen to me. At least by becoming a teacher I can see what the results of my work will be. If a kid knows more than he did when he started, that will be my lasting legacy.
It’ll also free up time for me to pursue my writing. Instead of constantly retraining to keep up with the latest greatest technology that the world doesn’t really need in the first place, I’ll practice a craft that I can build on. Who knows where I’ll be with it in twenty years.
And for all you jaded teachers out there that read this and think I’m totally naive about what teaching really is like, I’m not naive. I’ve been around one of the world’s best teachers for the last fourteen years, my wife. On what really matters in the world, her score card of achievements for making a better society puts me to shame. She has parents and past students approach her constantly and they thank her and tell her what a difference she’s made in their lives. Let’s see an iPhone, flat screen TV or Xbox do that.