This paper analyses the patterns found in teachers’ discourses during the implementation of a new HSC 2001 English syllabus in New South Wales and the ways in which these patterns relate to teachers’ professional identities. The teachers involved in the study that is reported had no contact with each other, and were from a selection of locations and school systems from across New South Wales, and yet there is extraordinary consistency found in their ways of thinking and behaving. Although the unique voices of particular individuals are identifiable what is most striking about their discourses is the similarities inherent in them - the metaphors chosen to convey their feelings and attitudes, and the multiplicity of contradictions and ironies in what they said and did. Their collective voice speaks loudly even though their particular contexts for the implementation of new curriculum are markedly different. The teachers’ discourses about their individual self concepts suggest that their professional identities, and what they value in the subject, English, are vitally important components of these constructs. Most teachers viewed their professional identities as being closely aligned with, or even inseparable from, their sense of self. The teachers’ discourses about themselves and their subject in a time of significant curriculum change illuminate the nature of the change process and the ways in which a professional identity is constructed.