Despite the many changes taking places in education and their attendant stresses and challenges on teachers and schools, teachers are poised to uplift and transform the profession.
To do so, a deeper appreciation for the multifarious dynamics of teachers’ lived experiences is vital. In the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to interview many of my fellow Teachers of the Year from the 2012 cohort for my doctoral dissertation.
The work concentrated on teacher morale, motivation, and professional identity in the context of education reform. I asked questions such as, “Why did you become a teacher?” “What motivates you as a teacher?” “When you retired, how do you want to be remembered?”
The answers were insightful and inspiring on many levels, and a thorough analysis of the 24 interviews reveals several compelling and common themes.
These themes, reflective of teachers’ views of themselves, their interactions with students, the status of the teaching profession, and the state of education, offer an intriguing glance into the perspectives and experiences of teachers.
Via Gust MEES, The Rice Process