THE STRINGS IN OUR HANDS:
a memoir for my community of teachers
I traveled far to find the kind of support that should have been provided up close in conversations or teacher stories that tell more than the static images of savior, mother, villain, change agent, and too often, quitter. It was those strings cascading on the loom that began to untie the knots driving my own teacher persona and teaching choices. Bilingual classroom teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, Nonprofit staffer, all teacher identities woven together and finding their voice through a personal investigation of my own teaching and learning process through weaving. Every day when I would look at my education work I was envisioning strings. I spent many hours watching women weave and I could not shake the image from my head, the strings in my hands. Learning to weave became my pivotal moment that framed my teaching as a learner and began my first real conversations with other teachers.
“Know your history” is my memoir’s homework for our world of teachers. Even after returning from educational positions in Guatemala, my learning vocabulary did not transfer to a job search. This frustration highlighted the need to interrogate teacher personas and alternative constructions of mentor relationships and professional communities. Distinct holes exist in teacher authored texts, and while their professional dream may appear broken at first glance, it is not the happy ending that is missing but their own hand in the definition of teacher.
There’s such a lot of different Anne’s in me. I sometimes think that is why I am such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.
--Anne of Green Gables