I work in adult career education....where I've been very happy for the last almost FIVE years. While the career is very stressful at time (dealing with adults is sometimes WORSE than dealing with children or teenagers, believe it or not), it can also be a very rewarding part of my life.
A few minutes ago demonstrated this very clearly for me:
One of the students whom I enrolled in school just finished his last class in the Electrical Construction and Maintenance program that he pursued. He came out of the program with a 4.0 grade point average. He never missed a day of class. He 'aced" every exam and quizz. He was a wonderful student.
He is also 47 years old, a native of the Philipines, and had to work very hard to learn/master English when he arrived in the United States a few years ago. This good man took full advantage of everything that was offered to him in pursuing a rewarding career. He didn't skip school, or blame everything on "issues" or someone else.
Another of my students who graduated a few months ago:
A wonderful man who immigrated here from IRAN about five years ago. His english skills were marginal, but passable. He pursued a degree in Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration....and left here with a DEGREE, and a 4.0 grade point average....while working a full time job at night, caring for his family, and going to school.
One more example:
My new friend Tony. His story: He was born in the USA, but his Italian parents relocated back to ITALY shortly after his birth. He had never lived in the United States, and had never visited here. But he knew he had family here, for whatever that is worth.
Tragically, Tony's parents were both killed in an accident earlier this year. Tony had to relocate to the United States to live with a paternal uncle. Tony and his uncle come in to see me several months ago, to investigate the possibilities of career training in our institution. Tony barely passed the English proficiency, but he did pass.
He enrolled in school. He is going to night classes, while working three jobs in the mean time. He also has a 4.0 grade point average thus far. He has proven that he can "do it."
What kills me:
The people who will come here to school--realizing they must do something worthwhile in their life at some point--but who think they can't "do thus and so" because it will take effort on their part.
A certain person has dropped out of two programs now. He really didn't put any effort into studying or tackling the schoolwork. He thought that something would be "handed" to him.
In short, he made excuses for himself, and he quit. The first time he "quit"--he was only in class for less than 1 hour, and decided that "this was just too hard for him."
Sometimes, I wonder what we are producing in this nation. And the answer really, really scares me.