Who Am I?

The start of a new school year is rapidly approaching. In fact, some localities have already gone back. As a teacher, this is an exciting time of year. After a summer of recharging, I always feel ready to greet my new students, and eager to engage them in new and exciting ways. With this time of year also comes the bittersweet end to lazy summer days, warm weather and let’s face it, less stress. 

This year is different. For the first time in almost 20 years, I do not have class rosters, schedules, supplies, or meetings to attend. I have no students. I have no classroom. Thus the consequence of relocating in mid August to a different state. Having filed for a new teacher license, and filled out the lengthy application forms, I wonder what happens next. My bio on social media says that I am a teacher. I have credentials, references, recommendations, books, boxes, bins, and experience to prove my worth. Yet in the area where I now reside, school starts in just a mere 5 days. Sadly I will not be among the masses who will wake up early on Monday morning ready to enter the halls of one of these fine schools. 

So as I reflect on all the changes that have occurred for my family and I these past 3-4 months, I am left to ponder who I am, if not a teacher. The saying goes, ‘Once a teacher, always a teacher’, which to some extent is true. However, in the face of unemployment, it can be difficult not to question one’s worth outside of the field of this noble profession. Should I not gain employment as an educator, what does that mean? Am I defined only by my role as a teacher? And if I am not employed, who am I? 

Self-reflection and change are good for the soul. I know this to be true. So I am open to the possibilities that will come my way. After all, in the world of education one should never be resistant to change. So, who am I? I am, and always will be a teacher. Perhaps not in the traditional sense right now, but I remain open to all the possibilities that await me …

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Cargo

So the boxes are packed, the moving truck sits in my driveway, and the memories of this home are tucked deep inside my heart. Leaving the space where I watched my daughters grow up is difficult. This is the home where they explored our woods in search of fairies and adventures. Here is where they learned to ride bikes, had sleepovers, developed lasting friendships, and watched their new puppy come to life. In this yard we buried the beloved remains of our first dog. We had picnics in this yard, watched fireworks every 4th of July, and had family gatherings in this home. So leaving is hard. But when we move to a new location it isn’t the physical space we will miss, because it’s easy to create a home somewhere new. What we really want to hang on to is time. Moving away means that time has passed, kids grow up, parents age – life moves on. And this is what hurts the most with any move we make in life. Moving represents some form of closure.

So as I lay in this sunny bedroom listening to the birds outside my window, I’m trying to pack up all the memories that time has given me these past 9 years. The moving truck will store and transport all of our material belongings, but I don’t need boxes or bags for what I will carry away from this place. My most precious cargo, my memories, will travel with me wherever I go. Yes, with the closure on this part of my life there is sadness, however I find comfort in knowing that I’m not leaving anything behind. My “cargo” will forever stay tucked deep within my heart.