One of my favourite things about teaching is the conversations with the students. The unstructured, random ones that spin from their learning in all sorts of weird, wonderful and insightful directions.
Often, I’ll finish a lesson a few minutes early just to make time to spend a few minutes to talk, it’s always well worth the time.
Yesterday, I was talking with a small group about what they wanted to be when they were older. One wanted to be a bricklayer, another planned to join the RAF, a third wanted to be a TV cameraman, then something strange happened… a student asked me what I wanted to be when I was older.
I don’t think I’ve been asked that question for about twenty years. I had to stop and think about it for a moment.
What DO I want to be when I get older?
It really got me thinking.
Now, I’m really happy doing what I do currently, teaching is great, as is the time I get to spend writing and learning. But what was amazing about the question from that teenager was that it was limitless, it implied that I could be anything that I wanted to be.
Obviously, as we get older we make decisions which make certain things more difficult than others – I chose to study journalism at university, not physics or geography. But that doesn’t mean I’m hemmed in, and of course it’s never too late to change.
Although I’m not often asked what I want to be, I’m quite frequently asked what I am, or what I do. To which I’d respond, “I’m a teacher.”
I’m not sure when those questions changed, but I think I prefer the first one.
From now, I’m going to wind that back. I’m going to start thinking about what things could be, not what they are, because with that the possibilities are endless, and that’s exciting.
Take five minutes to think about it now…
What do you want to be when you’re older?