Exploring the personal and professional lives of teachers in the search for authenticity /
MetadataShow full item record
"We teach who we are" (Palmer, 1998, p. 2). This simple, yet profound, statement was the catalyst that began my thesis journey. Using a combination of self-study and participant narratives, Palmer's idea was explored as search for authenticity. The self-study component of this narrative was enhanced by the stories of two other teachers, both women. I chose to use narrative methodology to uncover and discover the relationship between the personal and professional lives of being a teacher. Do teachers express themselves daily in their classrooms? Do any lessons from the classroom translate into teachers' personal lives? The themes of reflection, authenticity, truth, and professional development thread themselves throughout this narrative study. In order to be true to myself as a teacher/researcher, arts-based interpretations accompany my own and each participant's profile. Our conversations about our pasts, our growth as teachers and journeys as individuals were captured in poetry and photographic mosaics. Through rich and detailed stories we explored who we are as teachers and how we became this way. The symbiotic relationship between our personal and professional lives was illustrated by tales of bravery, self-discovery, and reflection. The revelations uncovered illustrate the powerful role our past plays in shaping the present and potentially the friture. It may seem indulgent to spend time exploring who we are as teachers in a time that is increasingly focused on improving student test scores. Yet, the truth remains that, "Knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject" (Palmer, 1998, p. 2).