My good days far outnumber my bad days

Zachery Durnell is a member of Phi Gamma Chapter at the University of Findlay.

Zachery Durnell--without MarineWhen I complete my teacher training program at The University of Findlay in Ohio, teaching will officially be my second career. Prior to this, I worked in fine arts administration in various settings from Florida to Massachusetts to New York.

Naturally, when you work for a not-for-profit organization, you are at the whims of the organization, the economy, and the donor base to support the organization and the organization to provide jobs to their employees. The lack of any security at all and the work in general was unsatisfying. Something needed to change, and an organization that was failing provided the impetus for that change.

I left Massachusetts and went back home to Ohio. My guidance counselor from junior high asked me to work with her on a musical. One day, a conversation commenced on my qualifications, the work that I was doing, and my interactions with students. She persuaded me to get a substitute’s license and get my feet wet with teaching. I found out that I really liked what I was doing and also found out how hard teaching is: the challenges, the disappointment, and the satisfaction. I have been subbing for almost four years and going to school at the same time. My good days far outnumber my bad days.

Teachers who have been at it a while think I am crazy for going into teaching with all of today’s requirements, evaluations, and observations. I sit back and think about the career I had and look at the career in teaching that I want, and do not want to go back.

I would rather have some certainty with a teaching job than none at all. Better benefits, and pay are also positive aspects of this career change. I could have gone back to school and into business or another field to make money. As a teacher I will make more hands down than what I did in fine arts administration. I will also have the satisfaction of have some impact on a future generation. To me that seems to be pretty important, powerful, and fulfilling.

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