At this time of year, when I read all of the posts from eager new (and not so new) graduates, anxiously looking for that first "perfect" job, I can't help but look back on the path my teaching career has taken. When I first graduated, I wanted to teach the wee ones. When no jobs were available in the public system, I worked for 2 years in a tiny private school (earning $12 000/year) and for another 2 years in a preschool for students with physical disabilities. I then took 10 years off to stay at home with my babies. When I decided to return to teaching, I began by subbing, then was fortunate to be hired for 2 long-term sub positions. Neither was what I would have sought out. The first was for grade 6 and I had 3 days to plan, prepare and take over a classroom that the teacher had left with no notice (and no long-range plans or materials). After the long-term positions, I was offered my first contract--teaching, among other things, grade 7 and 8 math. Far, far, far out of my comfort zone. Not the material, I'm an educated professional; I knew the material, and had the skills to brush up on anything I had forgotten. Teaching those kids who were bigger than me was terrifying at first. After the first month, I loved it! After changing schools and teaching grade 5 (the grade that was always my "favourite"), I was forced into a decision--grade 1/2 or Special Ed. By now, the thought of the little ones was terrifying, so I chose teaching pull-out math and language to a group of 11 grade 7 and 8 boys (talk about a world of difference from the kindergarten I once swore was the only grade I would teach). I've worked with the "big kids" now for 4 years and they are my current favourites. I can't imagine my day without the interaction I have with my grade 8 boys--they make me howl with laughter! I love them and they love me back; with the end of they year coming in a couple of weeks, they have taken to hanging out in my room after school for 20 minutes or so two or three times a week just to "chill and talk". My message is this, don't close doors because of what you "think" you want. Take a chance, open your heart, fling open those doors and charge through them. There are wonderful things waiting on the other side.