DEAR HARRIETTE: For the past 12 years, I've taught kindergartners through third-graders. I love kids, but as the years pass, I don't feel like this is my calling. I feel like I fell out of love with teaching. I still believe in the kids who I teach, but I can't see myself spending the next five years at the same school teaching in the same grade.
Since I've been 5 years old, I've loved to dance. I kept up with it throughout my teen years and well into my adult life. I still dance at least three times a week. I understand that maybe this is just a hobby, but I think that I should look deeper into my passion for dance. There has to be some reason as to why I've kept dance in my life for over 20 years.
I already have a teaching degree, so I don't think I'm too far away from becoming a dance instructor. I have more than enough experience in both dancing and teaching. By combining what I love to do with what I know how to do, I will set myself up to never run out of passion for what I'm doing.
Currently, financial security lies in teaching. I don't have enough in my savings account to open my own dance studio, but I really don't want to continue teaching now that I know what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. Should I give up teaching within the next two years? I feel like that's enough time to budget and save the remaining balance. -- Finding my Passion, Raleigh, North Carolina
DEAR FINDING MY PASSION: Your contemplations have led you to a crossroads, which is fantastic. Now it's time to make a plan. It would be unwise and even reckless to quit your job without setting in motion a clear plan for financial stability and happiness. If you want two years to be your sightline for change, start looking for opportunities to teach individual dance classes at existing studios now. Look into elementary schools -- both public and private -- to see if there are positions available for dance teachers. Search. It would be optimal to find a full-time job that allows you to shift teaching to dance and maintain a full-time salary.