Today is the first day of a new school year.
All over the country, and much of the continent,schools are opening their doors to welcome students back after the summer break. Students are eager to catch up with friends after time apart.
Teachers are refreshed and full of new ideas to try with the new set of children they have been assigned.
And then there is me. At home. Alone.
As a teacher, I usually have an anxious, sleepless night, anticipating the excitement of being reunited with last year’s class and feeling pressure to make a positive impression with the new faces. But none of that happened this year.
Moving to a new town has been a bit of a blow for me. Although I love our new home in its stunning setting, I am adrift without my career. This is a surprise to me. I always believed that my job was just a job and, in fact after 15 years, I was looking forward to taking a well-deserved break from it.
When the opportunity to move presented itself, we didn’t hesitate. Pursuing a dream where lifestyle takes a higher priority than jobs, we picked up and moved to a small town. FM landed a job so we figured that we would live as a one-income family until I found something. I walked away from an established career as a most beloved Kindergarten teacher and arrived in the middle of nowhere.
But now, I find myself wondering if this was a wise choice. My previous identity no longer describes who I am becoming. When meeting new people, I seem to get befuddled when asked what I do. I guess the correct answer would be either ‘domestic engineer’ or ‘unemployed’ but I haven’t yet managed to say either aloud.
Where is the line between my career and my personality? This will require further consideration since teaching is much more than a 9 to 3 day job (despite what the media says!). But for now, I will take my recess coffee break on my sunny porch, overlooking my duck pond, and I’ll think about all my teaching colleagues who would love to trade places with me today.