I've been thinking about a conversation I had with my mother-in-law last week. A portion of the conversation had to do with adjusting to a new role, especially when you've been known as one thing for a long time. Sometimes we forget that what we "do" is not necessarily what we "are." I know, I know. They are so closely related for some of us that it's hard to separate the two.
For years I've lived the two as if they were in fact the same. And although I am not physically in the classroom, I still approach things and think of things as if I were. Children's books send off a flurry of ideas and activities in my mind. Organization materials make me think of classroom management. Office supplies, some of my favorite things, send me in a tizzy thinking of all the possibilities and applications for them. My mind automatically processes things from the standpoint of an educator. Once a teacher, always a teacher.
I'm not teaching in the sense that I am in front of a class. I still have the responsibility of teaching my own children and the children in my church's youth department. Do I miss teaching? Yes, I miss certain aspects of it. I love the process of learning and examining ideas. I enjoyed being with the children. I liked helping my students make the connections between what they were learning and real-life application. I do not miss the paperwork, administration changes that don't seem to make sense, the 60- to 70-hour workweeks, or conflicts with parents who don't feel you are doing enough or are being unfair.
So who am I? A mom. A wife. A friend.
Still trying to figure out the rest.