This autoethnographic work explores my experience with illness (specifically anti-N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis), recovery, and career change all in the span of a few months. Through reflexive interviews and a first-person narrative, I analyzed the shifting nature of my identity, specifically my teacher identity as I moved from struggling teacher, to patient, and back to teacher again. I also analyzed how the act of writing, and writing the narrative of this autoethnography, assisted in the healing process. My story shows that in moving from pre-illness to post-illness, I shifted from a strict, content-based teacher to a constructivist facilitator with a focus on critical thinking.


Autoethnography, Education, Teaching, Illness

Author Bio(s)

Erin Parke received her doctorate from the University of South Florida. She is currently a public school English teacher in Dunedin, Florida and an adjunct at the University of South Florida. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: ehart@mail.usf.edu.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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