I had a thought today. Why do we say I’m a teacher, I’m an engineer, I’m a dog walker, etc.? When we describe what our profession is, why do usually say we we are our profession, rather than just saying what we do? I teach middle school choir…?
It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of letting our success at work dictate our happiness, our self worth. For me, it has been a real struggle to separate the two: I can be a good teacher, or a lazy or grumpy or obsessed or motivating teacher (most of the time many of these things at once) – but none of that has to do with who I am as a person. I can have a bad day at work, and still have a fantastic evening.
So today when this thought popped into my head, I wondered if this particular way of phrasing has impacted or even confused our society about how we see ourselves in relation to our work. I would love to hear if any of you have info about how this phrased in other languages or cultures!
I’m a person who enjoys teaching. I teach. But that is not who I am.