Monday, May 19, 2008

So...now what?

Tomorrow I'm going in to school and pack up my stuff, and do my end-of-the-year checkout for the last time. And then...well...then...I won't be a teacher any more.

This is proving to be surprisingly difficult for me. Yes, it's become hateful and tedious, but it's familiar hatefulness and tediousness. At least I knew the routines. For the past 9 years, I've identified myself as "a schoolteacher". Many positive assumptions are made based people knowing you're a teacher (patient, nurturing, likes kids, needs some free office supplies) who teaches ninth-graders (really patient) and teaches math (must be smart, too).

Before I was a teacher, I was a college student studying to be a teacher.

I think like a teacher. I boss people in public. I give other people's children scolding looks. I dress like a teacher.

So...how will I know what to be?
I've always been whatever it is I'm currently working at: student, teacher. I've never really just been me. And now, well, and now the last kiddo is heading into his senior year of high school. And I'm packing up my room. I have my master's degree. Not a student, or a teacher, and the kids are moving out.
What do I do? I'm sort of in a transition phase, right now.
Gawd, that sounds weak. I've worked since i was 15, with the exception of one year that I thought I'd try to be a stay-at-home mom and BOY, am I not cut out for that...my Dad pounded it into me: You are what you do, and if you don't do anything, you aren't anything.

And I'm not really doing anything. So am I nothing? I've spent my entire adult life, since age 19, taking care of mine or someone else's kids.

Well, then, what am I?

What will I do with my shiny new me?

Sigh. More stuff to think about, I guess. During a run, or something.

...

12 comments:

  1. You are whoever you want to be!

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  2. Kick back and enjoy yourself. Your calling will come to you when you are least expecting it.
    (I sound like a fotune cookie)

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  3. I went through those exact same emotions when I left teaching. I felt like I lost some of my identity. It took me a while but I did find "me" outside of teaching. Now I am a rockin'~stay~at~home~mom~triathlete. ;>)

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  4. I'm in transition now myself and I know what you're going through. Reinventing yourself is scary, but it's also a fantastic adventure. :-)

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  5. You were a teacher before you started working at that school and you will be a teacher after you have left it. You just don't have to attend worthless ass meetings about it anymore. You lucky SOB!

    No more May 20th IEPs, Typhoon Emergency Preparedness training, professional development on oh-so-helpful topics like "Correcting Papers in Pen Colors that Foster Self Esteem and a Sense of Self in Your Students" and "The State Standards and You: How to Differentiate your Instruction in a Standardized Way".

    Do not mourn this day wise educator, revel in it!

    Sheesh! Must be May. I sound bitter.

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  6. Just stumbled on your blog and will definitely be back. I'm doing my first triathlon on June 21st and I've lost 67 pounds. Still have a ways to go on the weight loss front but getting very into and excited about the tri!!

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  7. Partly why I haven't fully left the profession I guess.
    Your post sure gave me pause for thought.
    I have been an educator for 33 years....and I can't let go completely...yet.
    And you are FAR from nothing! :-)

    Hey, think about a Grand Canyon crossing in the future...OK? We will talk about it at CDA!

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  8. Now you get to think about what you really want. Try to enjoy it! You've done a great job at everything you've done so far and you'll do a great job at the next thing, too.

    For now it's all about your training, right? You have an Ironman to focus on!

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  9. Don't worry about anyone else's assumptions or perceptions.

    You are Misty :)

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  10. Hmmm what do you do?
    You influence many many people positively
    You attack your boundaries and stretch them until they are unrecognisable
    You transcend your Dad's words.

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  11. I thnk that it is exciting for you to have the opportunity to figure that out!!

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  12. What a great chance to make adjustments in your life and self!
    Congratulations on your new adventure. (I've just embarked on my own new adventure, starting a new job in a new city next week, moving in with my sig-ot and sharing space with someone for the first time in many years.)

    Some thoughts if you're in the market for inspiration/support

    'It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.’

    — Alan Cohen

    'All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.’

    — Anatole France

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