Who am I?

I have been trying to figure out why I haven’t been able to post very often lately, and I think I have finally figured it out. The answer is so simple that I can’t believe it took me this long, but it did.

Having my job end has been a lot more traumatic for me than I realized at first. As my impending joblessness has gone on for almost 2 months now, I realize how lost I feel. I really feel like I am having to reinvent myself now because there aren’t many jobs in my field in places I want to live. So if I am not an ESL teacher, who am I?

Six years ago before I started in my present job, it was much simpler. I still had a child at home, so I was not as much defined by my job as I have become. Also, it has only been in the last ten years that I have really felt like I have a profession. Until then, I just went from job to job and had a good time.

Part of me wants to go back to those more carefree days, but I have really enjoyed the last ten years and feel I still have a lot to contribute to my students. I would like to continue in the field of ESL, but I am not sure how many sacrifices I am willing to make – or ask my husband to make – to do it.

All I know for sure is that I wake up each day a little less sure of who I am. On so many levels, I don’t like that! I’m not sure how I got to be so defined by my job. It leaves me wanting to get another job — almost any job — just to end the agony of not knowing. But then the cycle would just begin all over again. There is obviously more to this than finding another job. But right now, I would settle for that!

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8 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. Nathan Lowell says:

    You’re not alone there, Nancy.

    But take the time to stop and think. Who you are should be defining what you do and sometimes that takes us a while to find.

    I was in a similar boat not long ago. It gets better, but the first few months are hellacious!

  2. Ian McKeand says:

    Hi Nancy,

    Nathan is right and things will get better. You are gloriously you.

    Keep your chin up – there are lots of people rooting for you.

    With love,

    Ian

  3. Susan says:

    Nancy,

    It will be interesting to see where you go from here. I, of course, am rooting for you to end up back in the classroom in a similar job because I learn so much from your blog. However, I suspect that whatever you do, you will bring your same wise, reflective nature to the task which will make for good reading. Thanks for sharing the difficult along with the successes.

  4. Sarolta says:

    Dear Nancy, I couldn’t agree more with Nathan. What you are defines what you do. And we all know that you are such a sweet soul that I’m absolutely sure that when this initial period is over, you’ll be doing something great again. And it’ll feel good again. I just know.

  5. Jo McLeay says:

    Nancy, your post was very heartfelt, and I know what that feels like. I am commenting here to thank you for all the work you do in the edublogosphere. Your comments on my students’ blogs are very much appreciated and your thoughtful and gentle questions makes you a co-teacher in my classroom. I know that’s not enough, but you are much appreciated.

  6. Graham Wegner says:

    Nancy, I have no idea how this could work or if it’s an idea you’d want to explore but how about taking your expertise online? ESL mixed with e-learning would have to be a potent mix that could be something you could offer to a school as an online option and you could work from home (yes, I know, everyone’s secret fantasy) and still be able to use your teaching skills in tandem with your recently acquired Web 2 skills. This is just me thinking out loud and could be just “cloud talk” but offering a service initially promoted through your learning network could yield opportunities that have yet to be realised.
    Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

  7. Angie says:

    Hi Nancy,
    I’ve spent the past year on a personal sabbatical, adjusting to a move and the effects of Hurricane Katrina. It’s spring, and all the schools are posting jobs and I’m still unsure if I want to go back to teaching full time. I love my flexibility. So I’ve been exploring part-time options like e-learning, providing classes for gifted homeschooled students, even working part-time for a small gifted school. Last night, I almost talked myself into a full-time position with Spring Branch ISD.

    My son is doing the same after being laid off, and my daughter is questioning what she should do after she finishes college next year.

    You’re not alone and things have changed. Check out the e-learning options you have, enjoy your new situation, keep exploring. You haven’t lost your identity, just your job.

    Love ya’
    Angie

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