Identity Statuses


Marcia’s theory of identity statuses explains how adolescents develop through a period of crisis and then later an enduring commitment to a particular value or role.  During my research on Marcia’s theory, it reminded me of the period of my life when I was questioning my own vocation and future career path.  After graduating from college I was set on being an attorney and going to law school.  I obtained a prestigious job as a paralegal with the United States Department of Justice and was working on high profile federal cases.  After several months learning more about the law and the legal process, I experienced what Marcia would describe as an “Identity Moratorium.”  In college I worked as a tutor at a low-income community in D.C. and was a substitute teacher at an international elementary school.  After graduation I debated teaching but felt more secure continuing on the legal path.  After a year working at the Department of Justice I felt confused about my career goals and what I was called to do with my life.  I am the type of person that likes to have everything planned, so this period of uncertainty was extremely difficult for me.  I had made a two-year commitment with the Department of Justice and had taken the LSAT twice, however, I knew that being a lawyer was not for me.  I had to reexamine the choices that I had made and determine what would be the best option for me at that point in my life.  I distinctly remember leaving work one day and going to tutor in the Sursum Corda community.  One of the students told me I would be a great teacher, which for me was further evidence that I needed to make this change a reality.  A month later I quit my job and obtained a teaching position at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Anacostia.  I have just finished my second year teaching and believe I have reached the stage of “Identity Achievement.” I have made a commitment to education and know that it is a career path that is the best fit for me.  There is truly something to be said for finding a job where one enjoys going to work each day!



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