Monday, June 21, 2010

Who am I?

I haven't posted recently for a couple of reasons having to do with the bustle of the end of the school year and the myriad of other items in my personal life that I've had to juggle.  But the main reason I haven't posted is that I just haven't figured out what I needed/wanted to say about the major transition I'm making at work.  I've been a basket case for the past couple of months stressing over the change in teaching assignment, hoping against hope that it wouldn't happen, and then really being angry about the change, and now just being really sad.  Friday was the last day of school and I was a veritable waterworks.  My eyes kept leaking tears and I had to stay silent several times because I knew if I tried to talk, I'd burst into sobs.  By the time I got home Friday evening I was so exhausted, I could barely stay awake for dinner.  Even today, I am still feeling worn out.  I realized though that a huge part of the problem for me is my complete loss of identity.  For 15 years I've been a 6th grade teacher.  My internet user name is based on that fact.  My locker combo at the gym is based on that.  It was hard enough the past 2 years to lose my identity as a social studies teacher - I never did come to grips with that, but now my grade level is gone.  I thought several times on Friday as I packed my room that this move was worse than retirement will be.  At least retirement will be a choice.  As I packed I wondered what to do with the little souvenirs I've collected - the "Best 6th grade Teacher" mug, magnets, etc.
I keep trying to concentrate on the positives:  big classroom, a closet, a good teaching partner.  But I'm not through the grieving process yet.   It's scary that I've invested so much in one identity!  I need to diversify and build my other identities - wife, mother of adult children, Christian,knitter, reader, friend, and I need to make friends with my new label - 7th grade teacher.   But I don't want to do that last one yet . . . deep down if I'm honest, I'm still hoping for a deus ex machina rescue!


Songbird said...


Panhandle Jane said...

You are right that you may have to work on building up your other identities. That is hard for all of us. I don't think anyone realizes how much a teacher invests in her profession emotionally. It is very hard to invest less and still feel that you are doing a good job. I've been thinking about you often and wondering how it was going. Perhaps a summer break will help.