Always keep your dreams alive.
And keep them coming true.
- Cheryl J. Barclay
From nine years old to the end of high school, I seriously wanted to play in the NBA. No policeman, astronaut, businessman, fire fighter, or doctor for this guy; pro-basketball was all I ever thought of "career-wise" when I was a kid.
It wasn't about the money or fame, it was the simple fact that it was the one and only thing I loved doing. I knew everything about basketball and I played any chance I got; rain or shine. It was the first thing I became passionately obsessed with.
Even though she didn't teach me how to play, my mom made sure that I had the best gear and basketball shoes available. She would say: "you got to dress for success." I got to play in basketball leagues and go to camps in the summer even though we didn't really have the money for it because she knew I loved it so much. She wanted to keep my passion and dream alive.
Unfortunately, I didn't really know what it took to make the NBA. Even though I was a great shooter, the rest of my game never developed. So my hoop dreams slowly dwindled in the twilight of my high school career. C'est la vie.
In my senior year, I had to choose what I wanted to study in university. My mom was adamant that I get a post-secondary education but I had no idea what I could do for a living. All I ever wanted was to be a basketball player!
Needing to choose a direction, I was really struggling. Then I thought if I couldn't play basketball, maybe I could coach it. But how the heck do you become a coach?
I asked my mom, "how do I become a professional basketball coach?". She didn't really know how to answer but quickly made the connection that coaches are great teachers. "Maybe you could become a gym teacher and get into coaching that way. You would be a fabulous teacher!"
She was once again keeping my dream alive or whatever was left of it because I thought it was a pretty darn good idea. I was excited about it.
I graduated teacher's college in 2011 and as you can tell, I didn't become a one for a couple of reasons.
First being, I figured it was going to be very difficult to get a full-time gig right away because there was a major shortage of jobs. It would be a while until I found something permanent.
The second reason and probably the bigger reason was, I had just gone through teacher's college and discovered how much went into being a teacher. It's an unbelievable amount of dedication and hard work and didn't think I was ready to give it my all. In my opinion, teacher's are severely underpaid for what they do.
I can hear it now from the non-teachers out there: "Ya, but teachers get all this free time with weekends, holidays, march break and summers off!"
They certainly do, but I believe if you want to give your students the best experience possible and inspire them to be their best, you take that "free time" to become a better teacher by further educating yourself. You owe it to the children and the school that employs you. I had just finished a five-year undergrad and one year of teachers college and just thought to myself, I'm not ready or mature enough to make that kind of commitment.
I know it's a lot of money to spend on an education that i'm not necessarily using at the moment but I do plan to go into teaching one day. Once again, thanks to my mom, this dream is still a possibility. She told me, I should keep paying the yearly fee to be on the Ontario College of Teachers and when i'm ready, I can get back into it.
In the meantime though, she has helped me realize another passion and dream of mine: building and running a business. It's so difficult some days but everything about it has been absolutely worth it because of the experience I have gained and I have her to thank. It's like i've gone to school all over again from what I have learned.
Thanks Mom. I love you. Happy Mother's Day.