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Teachers’ Experiences of Negotiating Stories to Stay By: A Narrative Inquiry Open Access


Other title
teacher retention
teacher attrition
teacher professional growth
teacher stories
narrative inquiry
teacher experience
teacher professional development
teacher stress
teacher wellness
teacher burnout
moral distress
moral residue
teacher workload
teacher work/life balance
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Beck, Jaime L
Supervisor and department
Clandinin, Jean (Elementary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Conrad, Diane (Secondary Education)
Cardinal, Trudy (Elementary Education)
Watt, Bonnie (Secondary Education)
Phelan, Anne (Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy, University of British Columbia)
Department of Elementary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Research exploring teacher experiences remains significant for informing teacher education, teacher induction, and teacher professional development initiatives. This narrative inquiry began with a wonder about how the experiences teachers have in their induction years continue to influence their teacher identities and practice. How do teachers who stay negotiate competing demands on their time? How do they story those times, be they moments or months, when they cannot be the teacher they have in mind? To explore these wonders I invited three teachers in their seventh to tenth year of teaching to join me in a narrative inquiry. Over the course of one calendar year and two school years, we met for a total of six research conversations over dinner. During these conversations we developed and explored two concepts that described significant experiences in the lives of Serena, Mara, and Carlos (their self-selected pseudonyms). We explored the ways in which teachers experience contact hours, and the ways in which the weight of those hours is increasing, in conversations about “heavy hours” (Chapter 3). We also explored the daily decisions Carlos, Serena, and Mara made “not to break,” and the ways in which living out and living with these decisions shaped their stories to stay by (Chapter 4). While analyzing collected field texts (including audio recordings of our meetings, email exchanges, collages, and annals), I noticed that what these experiences have in common is the residue they leave behind, residue that continues to influence identity and practice in important ways (Chapter 5). The purpose of this dissertation is to first share some of those teaching experiences most significant to Mara, Serena, and Carlos, and then to begin a discussion about what those understandings might mean for education communities.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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