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It was during the summer of 1988, while a student at the University of Central Florida, I was struggling to figure out who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do with my life. I should have known by then. After all, I was 27 years old, almost married, and had already transitioned from a career as an auto mechanic to a college student studying Business Administration.
But business didn't grab me. I could not envision what I would be doing or if I would even like it. I only saw the clean, well-appointed corner office and me sitting at a desk wearing a shirt and tie. The problem is I hate wearing a shirt and tie. That wasn't me at all! I knew I needed a change. But to what?
Upon the advice of a college advisor, I took a battery of aptitude tests at the counseling center and waited for the results. While waiting, I did some soul-searching and concluded the place I really enjoyed being was in school. My school years in East Stroudsburg were great. I had friends, I had a purpose, I got decent grades, and we had FUN! I realized I could make money hanging out in school all day. What could be better?
Between semesters, I made the decision to change my major from Business to Science Education. I filled out the forms and carted them around campus to the proper offices and got set up with an advisor. I was ready for Fall and excited for my new path. Then I got a call from the counseling center. . . my test results were in!
I'd forgotten all about that. What would they say? Was teaching not for me after all? I sat down with the counselor who looked me in the eye and asked. . . "have you ever thought of being a teacher?"
That was it. The beginning to what this year has become a 30 year career in the education and learning field. In that span, I've taught science and math, been an instructional designer, a training programs administrator, program and project leader, and seen many work environments that have taught me so much about how people live, work, learn, cope, succeed and fail. I've been laid off and quit. I've been hired and thrived and I've been disappointed with my prospects as an employee. . . all the things people go through over 30 years of life.
Looking back, as age allows us to do, I've become philosophical about my experiences. Yes, they've made me who I am, for good or bad. I've let go of the tough times having learned that they are usually more than balanced out by the prevailing good. More importantly, my experiences have given me, finally, the direction to go and do what I really want and need to. . .
And so, it is with great pride and joy that I announce the founding of my new company: Team Learning Services, LLC.
David Koster is the owner and principle consultant of Team Learning Services. He has 30 years experience in the education and learning industry.