My career for over a decade was working in children's education as a researcher. My specialty was working with children, either on a one-on-one basis or with entire classrooms. What does "working" mean, in this case? I spoke with children to learn what they enjoyed learning about in school and what they enjoyed doing at home. My job was to find how to make learning feel more like play. Often I would have the pleasure of just watching kids teach me how to play their favorite games or how they used technology (games, iPads, computers).
I think I was able to have a successful career in this industry because I was and am fascinated by how children see the world. In addition to working as a researcher, I’m also an actor so my outgoing energy and sense of humor really help kids feel comfortable around me!
I'm also reminded of when I was a youth tennis teacher. It was my job to make sure children learned the sport in a way that kept them from hating the sport. I started playing tennis when I was 2, and was playing tournaments by the time I was 5 years old. By the time I started teaching I was well aware of the pressures of competitive sports. While working with children either individually or in a group setting, the most important lesson I taught on the court was the balance between learning and playing. If I did my job correctly, and I believe I did, children discovered how to enjoy tennis while not feeling constantly critiqued.
I dedicate my time to working with children because in my heart I still am one -- and watching them learn and hearing them conversate has just never stopped fascinating me.