Theses Doctoral

Heavy Conversations and New Constellations: A Teacher’s Emotional Dialogues in the State of Jefferson

Wilkinson, Emily Ann

This dissertation offers an intimate view into the emotional life of a queer teacher while she lived and taught middle school in a conservative rural Northern Californian community during the years 2020 to 2022. Acknowledging the emotional weight felt by many educators as they confront challenges in and outside of their academic curricula, this study offers a framework for recording, examining, and analyzing the wobble moments (emotionally difficult events) experienced by teachers in ways that may relieve some of their associated tension and stress.

Through reflections on teacher journal entries, this autoethnographic study demonstrates how emotion, dialogic, and queer theories may be used to rethink and reconfigure the narratives of our emotional experiences. The author argues that by engaging in emotional dialogue, teachers may gain new insight on and deepen their relationships to their practice and profession, as well as to their students and colleagues. Ultimately, it is in her analysis of these relationships that the author finds solace and lightens some the emotional weight of teaching.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Fecho, Bob
Vinz, Ruth
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
March 29, 2023