Saturday, August 25, 2012

Am I On the Right Track?

I debated a lot about whether I should disclose where I worked this summer, but then I remembered writing about the Faison School for Autism when I was up-in-the-air about my summer class schedule and my summer job (whew! What a whirlwind!). Now that work is over for the summer (sniff, sniff...) I feel like I can more openly discuss my TA position at FSA. This was my third summer working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at Faison School, and by far my favorite summer. I spent seven weeks with some of the most incredible children and TAs I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

This summer, instead of dispersing the summer students and summer TAs throughout the school's classrooms, all summer school students and all summer TAs worked together in one "guinea pig" class (i.e. we tested out the program for the school's administrators). There were eight students and eight TAs in our class, plus the most hard-working, dedicated, compassionate, and genuine teacher who's ever supervised me. The TAs ranged in age from 19 to 25, and I'm going to go ahead and brag about our ability to work cooperatively, brainstorm, come together in emergencies, and communicate effectively. I sound like a sixth-grade paper-writing planning guide, but what the hell.

For the first time in about six years, I've begun questioning whether the Master's degree I am pursuing in clinical mental health counseling is where I should be. I've developed quite a passion for working with individuals with ASD over the past three years, and teaching at Faison is an experience unlike any other.

Having an extremely specialized degree simultaneously gives people a niche to help them become more employable in a specific area and limits their employability options due to the nature of their degree. That kinda freaks me out... I think what I need to do is complete the degree I've known I wanted to earn since the middle of high school, and then earn a certificate in ASD studies. I don't like making decisions impetuously, and I definitely don't like giving up on something I'm actively pursuing. I guess you could say I'm between a rock and a hard place. Or, between degrees...?

I've never thought of myself as an indecisive person -- I'm a girl who knows what she wants. But I've also never found myself at a crossroads like this.

I guess I'll wrap this post up by saying thanks for letting me "talk out loud"? I guess I was looking for an outlet to write about the confusion I'm feeling right now. Sometimes I feel like I should be more resolved before I publish a post about some topics, and sometimes I just need to remind myself that writing my blog is all about exploring my options and growing within myself.
As always, thanks for reading! :)

P.S. While I'm not looking for advice, per se, I'd love for you to weigh in!

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