My father once told me that I was good at explaining things and (re) telling stories. That’s why he suggested, and later insisted, that I become a teacher. He believed that I would make a good teacher, or perhaps even writer. I didn’t want to be a teacher then. I wanted to be a journalist. But many years later, through twists and turns of events, I indeed became a teacher. I still am and I’ve never regretted it.
I think I am a good teacher in many ways. My educational background plays an important part in it, of course. But what I brought into it is also essential. My father was right. I’m good at explaining things and making difficult or complicated concepts easier to understand.
Part of that skill, I think, owes to the fact that I’m very verbal: I am dexterous with words and good at telling stories. I love to illustrate an abstract concept with real or imaginary characters and their actions. They can usually help make difficult or abstract concepts more imaginable and alive. I love using metaphors, similes, and wits too because they help bridge the gap between what we know and what we want to know. In general I tend to structure my thinking narratively – putting everything in the order of a story.
Now as I am thinking of changing careers, I have to keep those strengths in mind. But I also have to consider what my weaknesses and opportunities are – the so called SWAT, they say.
Part of my weaknesses is that I am a middle-aged man now, and I am not good at following orders or feel happy about having to fit in a bureaucratic
‘madness’. I’m basically an independent thinker and a free soul who likes creative endeavors.
I cannot possibly apply for a traditional teaching job, certainly not one that will have me do the same things I’ve been doing in a similar kind of place. I can probably still teach in a progressive or unconventional kind of school or setting that will allow me to be creative and independent. I can probably also be a learning director, manager, or facilitator. Unfortunately at the moment there aren’t many places that are like that here. So I may have to keep this option shelved in a safe place for a while.
Another option I have is to embrace what to this day has only been a sideline profession and become a full-time translator. The probability is better with this option. The talent, the experiences, and the reputation are all there and ready to tap. All I need is a better self marketing strategy to support it.
In combination with my other talents and experiences, I may also become a writer, editor, or even an independent journalist or content producer. I like the idea although I may still have to learn a lot of things about the trades.
The time of change is always a turbulent time, I know. Pivotal decisions have to be made often without the comfort of knowing what we need to know. Certainties are not the order of most things in this world; therefore we need faith in things that are beyond what we can comfortably understand: we need God, we need to believe in the power of prayers, in how the universe works even though we don’t understand everything about it.