By Alyssa Helsel
Most students are inclined to face the pressures of figuring out what they want to do after their high school career. However, this expectation fixed into society is a misbelief of what the reality of life truly is to some, proven by teachers Mr. Chris Morel and Mrs. Tiana Fox. Each on-campus teacher considers failures are good for they lead to success and exploring different opportunities assisted them in figuring out what they wanted to do as a career.
Growing up, Morel wanted to become an architect, which sprouted from his love of playing with Legos as a kid. However after high school, he coached high school football and worked at youth groups for different organizations instead, which inspired him to become a teacher. He then went to college to get a teacher’s credential, but found himself doubting if he truly wanted to be a teacher. So after college, he helped people get mortgage loans for two years and did loans for a family friend. Morel added, “I didn’t like it [his former job] but it solidified what I wanted to be, a teacher. If I didn’t explore that area, then I wouldn't be sure teaching was for me.” Morel’s advice for students is that they “try things but move forward. Then, reflect what it is that you liked about it.” For Morel, he eventually found what he wanted to do in life and considers teaching his passion, believing he has the opportunity to change students’ lives by helping them learn and grow. According to him, this would never have occurred if he did not pursue different opportunities.
Fox had thirty-one jobs before becoming a teacher on campus and completely changed direction in what she initially wanted to become but overall found her purpose in life in the pursuit of helping her students. After high school, Fox wanted to work with a news organization where she could go overseas and broadcast over different international points. This led her to having a double major at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) in German and Communications. There, she worked for the Daily Nexus, where she did all forms of journalism including print, voice, and television. However, Fox learned two weeks before graduating that this was not what she wanted to do. Fox mentioned, “I didn’t know how to navigate that [the realization she no longer knew what she wanted to do]. . .I was so focused and goal-oriented before that and then all of a sudden, I was lost.” From there, she had multitudes of jobs, including working for a Rent-A-Car center, Sun Your Buns Tanning Salon, restaurants and more. However, nothing made as much of an impact as a tutoring company called Lindamood-Bell, where she aided students with their reading and comprehension skills. This inspired her to become a teacher. Fox stated, “I recognized through soul-searching and working to get to know myself better that I liked helping people. I truly think the best idea is to follow what you love. Be kind with yourself because a lot of people who fall under that category don’t know what you want to do; everyone around you feels like they know exactly what they want to do, when most people still don’t.” Fox has a hopeful stance on failure stating that it is the only way people can succeed. She also believes there is not really a finish line to life, and the beauty of life is that you can constantly grow then said, “I, myself, surprise myself to this very day. . . High school is not an end; it is a stepping stone to a new adventure.” Fox never considered teaching as an option for her future until she explored different job opportunities. Fox believes it was only when she was lost that she was able to find where she was meant to be all along.
Failure can have the possibility of manifesting itself into something greater. Having an optimistic view on failure is what encouraged Fox and Morel to discover what they wanted to do in life. Both teachers acknowledge that people do not always know what they want to do in life but still advise to continuously search because that is the only way for things to change and come to be.