If I could hit the rewind button in life, one of the many things I would change is my profession. If you eliminated money from the equation, I think that I would really enjoy being a teacher.
I remember when Mrs. Mac was looking at possible career choices when she went back into the working world. We were discussing the merits of teaching and the one point I made to her was that although I know I am very well respected in my current field, the second I stop working at my position I'll be mourned for a short period of time but then it will be business as usual from there. I won't really have a long lasting legacy once I'm gone. Teaching is different, you have the chance to stamp on impression on a really young mind.
To prove my point, is there a teacher from your youth that sticks out?
I'm guessing that answer came to you quickly. Not only could you answer that question but there could be a couple of great teachers who came quickly to your mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you can also come up with a list of teachers who you really hated or others that just weren't good at their job.
Teaching is so much different. You have the ability to make a huge impact on a young person's life. I know from coaching sports how exciting it is when you find a way to unlock the mystery of connecting with a kid and get them to do what you're trying to teach them. It's such a satisfying feeling to know that in some little way you've helped them.
I think having my summers free would be awesome. I would gladly work 14+ hour days 9 months out of the year to get the balance of the year off. How cool would that be?
I'm not implying that teachers don't work hard. Mrs. Mac is in the first year of her teaching career and I see the amount of hours she puts in everyday. I'm overwhelmed by how much she works. The alarm goes off at 5:30 each morning for her and she's often banging away at her computer until 10:30 or so throughout the week.
My point is there are plenty of people who work those crazy hours without the extended summer break. Whether it's retail or a profession position, they put those long hours in 49 or 50 weeks out of the year.
Teaching truly is a noble position and I'm envious of those who have the opportunity to work with young people. It really can be a rewarding experience.