January 12, 2010 - 12:00am
Sky Lantz-Wagner (PCMI/TESOL '12) shares his journey from scuba-diving instructor to graduate student:
I never expected to become a teacher. After college, I worked as a scuba-diving instructor in Egypt, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. Thanks in part to a degree in international business, I had the opportunity to found Whale Shark Experience, an ecotourism company in the Mayan Riviera. It was an adventure, but not a career path I wanted to follow.
Teaching found me when I wasn't looking. One of my professors from high school invited me to teach ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) at an elementary school in Georgia, and he guided me through the certification process. Soon I was teaching and learning how to teach simultaneously. I fell in love with it - not immediately - but I grew into it. Now I've chosen to pursue it as a long-term career.
My goal in life is to make the world a better place as a teacher. I don't see myself in a specific setting, possibly a university or public school. But regardless, I want to challenge my students by expanding the classroom experience into the real world and connecting them to the bigger picture. I want to have an impact on as many people as possible.
This summer, Sky will embark on his Peace Corp experience to China.