Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Teacher Identity

A young woman in Alaska was killed by some wolves recently.
The headlines said "Wolf Attack Kills Young Teacher in Alaska".

I find it interesting that she was not in her teaching capacity when she was killed, but that is how she is identified in the papers. They wouldn't say 'Young Shop Assistant' in that headline would they? I found this classification interesting, and I see it a lot. It's as if a teacher becomes a teacher and then that's what he/she is. People forget that she would have been a daughter, possibly a mother or wife or girlfriend or sibling, perhaps an aunt, perhaps she's a crafter. She was apparently a runner, but they didn't say 'Young Runner'. Why is 'Teacher' the biggest, most important part of her identity? Is it because many of her students would be in mourning, so lots of people are invested in her, more as a teacher than as a daughter?

Have a think, and reply! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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