Going Straight to Work, Not College

Emily Byrum, Photo Editor

Everyone that knows me, knows I want to be an early education teacher. I have had a passion for teaching since I was little.

Many people think I am crazy, or dumb for wanting to be a preschool teacher, including my sister. She thinks since I am not going to make a lot of money, that it is not worth it. 

I feel if someone wants to be a teacher, they are not in it for the income, they should be in it for the outcome. 

Up until Sunday, I was planning on going to Park University, but then I had a “come to Jesus” and thought to myself, would I rather be in thousands of dollars in debt, or would I rather get a job at a daycare when I turn 18, and slowly work my way up the chain to get where I want to be. 

My dream job is to work at Cerner Kids where my mom works. I like the family atmosphere of her job, and they are a Montessori school, which is a very cool concept. 

So after applying, filling out my FAFSA, and communicating with an admissions counselor, I have decided to not go to college, at least for the next couple of years. 

I know I will get backlash from some people, as I already have, because if you don’t go to college in this day in age, then you are making a mistake. But after talking to child development teacher Denise Winslow, she agreed saying sometimes educators push kids too hard to go to a four-year college not guaranteeing they will graduate with a degree they actually want. 

In my opinion, I will make more money gaining experience at other daycares and schools, then I would get from going to college. I know I would not ever pay off my student loans, so I could be making money and living my life without loans.

I also don’t feel that I am ruining my life because I have done so much in the last six years to prepare me for my career. 

I have babysat numerous kids; I help teach preschool on Wednesday nights at my church; I took Child Development 1 and 2, and many other things including taking FACS internship where I work in a daycare this year. Though I have the most experience with preschool since I work with them every week, I am skilled in watching kids from the age of three weeks old until the age of 11. I prefer watching children from infants up to around the age of five or six because they need you more than older kids usually do. 

According to numerous people in the early education field they say it is not a mistake for me to not go to college, because in the end I will probably never pay back all my loans, so I could live a comfortable life making a decent amount of money without ever actually getting a degree. 

Even though many colleges have an early education degree it is not always necessary, for example after the age of 18 you can get a job at almost any daycare in Missouri as long as they like you. I have multiple options open to me including applying at a Montessori school just up the road from my house, or a daycare right around the corner where the owner told me when I turned 18 she would gladly hire me.