Home Editor's Pick When I Grow Up I Want to Be…

When I Grow Up I Want to Be…

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If you’re reading this post no doubt you’ve had this same silent discussion with yourself…”What do I want to be when I grow up?” 

For me I thought I was going to be a Forensic Pathologist. I would spend nights reading through medical texts, writing down medical terminology in a green handheld notebook with my favorite pen, and of course watching shows like Forensic Files to see the professionals in action. But as time went on my mind and desires in education matured and that’s when it dawned on me that I wanted to be a writer. It took some soul searching, and changing majors but I pushed myself into my new passion and education aspirations for my future.

For others it takes a little while longer to get where they “need to be”. My Editor’s Pick for this week goes to Sarah Barz and her determination to change her career and life path around after 20 years in a completely different industry.

Sarah Barz is a student at American Public University pursuing an M.Ed. in Teaching: Concentration in Elementary Education. 

After years in the information technology industry, Sarah Barz began looking for the next big thing – and what she wanted to do when she “grew up,” as Barz says. Some people might have continued a comfortable career path, after being in the business for 20 years. But Barz was ready for a change. In what many would consider a 180-degree career shift (Barz would disagree), she decided to become a teacher – returning to college online at American Public University.

There is an observation requirement to her studies that Barz meets by participating in a local elementary school classroom.

“When I started my observation, the instructor told me he also followed a non-traditional teaching career path,” says Barz. “He said one day he realized he had been ‘working someone else’s job’– and a light went on in my head. That’s exactly how I felt – what I’d been doing for many years.”

There is an observation requirement to her studies that Barz meets by participating in a local elementary school classroom.

“When I started my observation, the instructor told me he also followed a non-traditional teaching career path,” says Barz. “He said one day he realized he had been ‘working someone else’s job’– and a light went on in my head. That’s exactly how I felt – what I’d been doing for many years.”

What advice would she give others about switching careers?

“It’s all connected,” says Barz, who plans to use her experiences with IT and management in the classroom. “As a manager, in addition to watching the bottom line, I’m providing coaching and training and knowledge to do the job. I think the people I’d be working with as a teacher would just be smaller and nicer. They’re really what the bottom line is about.”

So if you’re in a similar place where you want to switch around your life goals and try something new think of this story, because it’s more common than you think. Many people are going back to school, or thinking about it. And changing your mind is what life and being an adult is all about. Maybe you’ve decided that your childhood dreams are more attainable than before, especially with the availability of the online format. Dig into your “When I grow up I want to be” memories, are they similar to what you’re doing today?

– By J. Mason

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