I’m still a licensed counselor, I still coach, but a few years ago I got the idea that my work with clients was missing something, I didn’t know what it was but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Eventually I came to believe that the answer might lie in education so I looked for opportunities to teach. I was willing to teach anything to anyone in a traditional classroom setting and then the strangest opportunity presented itself for me to teach Spanish at a private high school. I thought I might teach college, maybe some professional workshops, and although I considered teaching Spanish in some form I did not plan on teaching high school students.
I embraced the classroom because I wanted to conduct informal, hands-on research on teaching and learning, specifically to use different forms of educational technology in the hopes of bringing what I learned back into my counseling and coaching work. It only took a few months for me to come up with a few new hypotheses and while I think my research is valuable I want to take it to the next level and do more formal research with a university or research institute.
It’s hard to conduct research with everything that goes on in a classroom, in a school, and in communities. I don’t regret going all-in on my covert research mission but I do wonder how much better the research would be if I wasn’t also teaching and vice versa.