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The GrunkleGuru

Grunkle is a slang term for the thick rough on a golf course that I have been using for many years. Given my penchant for inaccurate tee balls, I have become a bit of a guru out of the thick stuff, hence the name. This is a site for my random thoughts about sports (espeically golf) and life in general. While nothing special, it will hopefully offer a break from the daily drudgery for both you and me.

December 16, 2005

It's Not About Golf ... Looking For Guidance

It’s funny how you cannot fight destiny. I remember back to high school when I would tutor fellow classmates in courses that I was having success in. Teachers would overhear how I was explaining a topic, and mention how I should consider teaching. I would just nod my head politely, while on the inside I would be mocking them. I had dreams, and goals, why would I ever want to be a teacher.

Then it was onto college where I remember where I majored in Sport Management with unknown aspirations. The one thing I do remember was that I actually enjoyed the opportunity to teach a subject for a day to my peers. It was different, and there was a feeling of accomplishment when I was told that people learned something they did not before.

After college I became a golf pro (not the touring kind), and during that time I really enjoyed my job, but now that I have had an opportunity to reflect back on that time in my life there were two things that I liked. The partying (of which I did too much), and the teaching. The feeling of satisfaction when a member would see their ball flight improve and their comprehension of the golf swing increase was a feeling that provided extreme satisfaction for me.

After that stint I went into the business world in various sales roles with varying degrees of success. Again, I found myself enjoying the experience not when I experienced the success of a sale, but rather the process of educating the client as to why they need to utilize the product or service I was offering. The opportunities that I had to speak to large groups were energizing. I found myself throwing my heart and soul into these educational programs.

But then I decided I needed to grow up. I went to graduate school and earned my MBA. It was during this time that I took a required personal development class. It was only pass / fail, but was probably the most important class that I took during the entire experience. I gained a better understanding of my personality, and with that knowledge comes power. It has helped me realize how I best handle situations, and what drives me to succeed. However, there was one aspect of the class that I had pushed aside until recently. One of the tests was designed to determine what your knowledge, skills, and abilities best suited you for. Ironically, 15 years after I was first told I should consider teaching, a computer printout told me that I might be successful as a teacher. I thought it was interesting, but just went about my life as a marketing manager, not giving it much thought.

Well, that was a few years ago, and life sure has changed. I went on to earn my MBA, I have become a respected voice in my industry, I got married, and my wife and I are blessed with a beautiful toddler who challenges me every day more then I ever could have imagined. But still with all that, there is something missing from my professional life. I have come to the conclusion that the part I like best about my job is that it gives me an opportunity to educate people. When I get to teach a seminar on our products, I look at it as a great challenge. I also have the opportunity to write articles, and teach classes on our more advanced products. So, I have reached a conclusion.
I want to be a teacher. I never would have thought about it until I sat back and looked at all I have done in my life, and what provided me the greatest challenge, but also the greatest sense of accomplishment. But now, here is the hard part.

How does one, who has no formal training as a teacher, get a job teaching? It seems like the same conundrum you see in business. You need to have experience to get a job, but you can’t get experience unless you have a job.

The one thing I do realize is that I want to teach in a college environment. It can be either at a college, university, or 2-year college. I just don’t think I have the make up to go the elementary or high school track.

So, is there anyone out there who can offer some advice on how to go about taking this next step in my life journey? I realize that sacrifice will be involved, but with everything I understand now, that is something that I am willing to make. I just need some guidance and advice.

Anyone? Anyone?


At 6:25 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

I don't know a lot about it, but I'd check into "lateral entry" where you can begin teaching before you have the required education classes.


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