Why College Didn’t Work For Me

I Dropped Out of College to Become a Tutor.

Wait. What?

Yep, you read that right. First, though, let me give some background. At forty three years old, I had decided to go back to school to get my second bachelors degree, a degree in education. I wanted to work with students with dyslexia. I could do this. I have well over twelve years experience in early childhood education, a love for children, and an understanding of what it’s like to struggle in a subject. No, I don’t have dyslexia. I do however, wrestle with math.  If math were a person and I was a superhero, it would be my arch enemy. Just thinking about it, right now, puts knots in my stomach. I love to read and don’t want anyone to feel about reading and writing the way I do about math, So I felt it was my calling to get my degree and be a teacher. One that would open up the world of reading, encourage students to go after their dreams, and help their parents support them at home.The kind they would make movies about (did I mention my first degree is in Theater Arts?)!  So back to college I went, taking on debt, and sharing stories with my daughter, who was starting her freshman year in college,and my elderly father, whom I take care of.

Sounds like a great plan. What happened?

I enthusiastically threw myself into my classes, minus the math classes of course, and really loved it. Well, math was surprisingly tolerable, thanks to my professor. However, as time went on and I was paying more attention to the world of dyslexia, I realized that most public schools are not equipped to recognize and work with students with dyslexia. In fact,there is a general misunderstanding of what dyslexia is and how many people it affects. This misunderstanding reaches from local schools all the way to the Federal Department of Education. I have also seen how children learn differently and the curriculum in many schools (Though thankfully, not all) does not allow teachers the flexibility to approach lessons in different ways. Now, you should know, this really bothers me. I don’t always respond well to institutionalized ways of thinking. So, now I’m paying a ton of money to be trained to work in a system I will want to buck, but not being trained to work specifically with the students I want to help.  In order to be trained to work with them, I will have to take outside courses and pay for it out of pocket while paying my loans. Oh, and I no longer have the vim and vigor to fight and change the system while working within it.  Twenty years ago, maybe, but not now. I took a long hard look at all of this and after speaking with my adviser and a professor with real world experience, I decided to quit school before I racked up more debt, and pursue training through Orton-Gillingham. Why? Because I do need to be educated on how to do this.

So how’s that working for you?

I don’t know, yet. The online course I want to take begins in January. In the meantime,working with Robin to make this blog a success, along with caring for my father and daughter, remain a priority.  I feel good about this decision. I know tutoring isn’t easy and doesn’t pay enough to cover a mortgage, but right now, it’s a start. Dropping out of college to help others overcome a learning obstacle may sound strange, but I never said I was normal. – Jennifer Anders Miller

Comments?

Our society tells us that everyone needs a college education, but what if college isn’t preparing you for what you want to do? Our advice, find the place that will help and go after it.

Did college work for you? Did it help you get to where you are going? If it didn’t how did you get the training you needed to be successful in your own quest? Let us know in the comments below then share us on all of your social networks. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter at the link below.

 

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    Robin Liner is a wife, and veteran homeschool mom with over twenty years experience. She has written two picture books and actively blogs about homeschooling with an emphasis on teaching dyslexic children at crazygoodreaders.wordpress.com. and athomewithdyslexia.com Feel free to contact her at robin@crazygoodreaders.com

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    2 Comments

    1. Punka Rogers

      Wow! A fresh perspective on education and finding your own way in life. What courage it must’ve taken to look at where you were and decide that wasn’t the right place for you to be. Inspiring!

      Reply
    2. Robin Liner

      Yes, Jennifer has made a choice not to forgo education, but to take a non-traditional path. I feel many people would benefit from thinking about the most productive way to reach their goals. Sometimes that may mean college and sometimes it may mean taking a road less traveled.

      Reply

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