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(Re)narrating Teacher Identity

Telling Truths and Becoming Teachers

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Edited By Audrey Lensmire and Anna Schick

With surprising candor, the authors of (Re)narrating Teacher Identity: Telling Truths and Becoming Teachers crack open what it means to become and be a teacher in the twenty-first century United States. In an effort to dig deeper into the challenge of teaching, four new teachers engaged in a summer writers workshop. Drawing from the work of Barbara Kamler (2001), the teachers used artifacts such as school graffiti and text messages to "reposition" and (re)narrate their identities as teachers. In braving truth-telling, the authors built a collective well-being. These stories are an important resource for novice teachers, experienced teachers, and teacher educators alike for disrupting dominant teacher narratives and moving towards alternatives.

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With surprising candor, the authors of (Re)narrating Teacher Identity: Telling Truths and Becoming Teachers crack open what it means to become and be a teacher in the twenty-first century United States. In an effort to dig deeper into the challenge of teaching, four new teachers engaged in a summer writers workshop. Drawing from the work of Barbara Kamler (2001), the teachers used artifacts such as school graffiti and text messages to “reposition” and (re)narrate their identities as teachers. In braving truth-telling, the authors built a collective well-being. These stories are an important resource for novice teachers, experienced teachers, and teacher educators alike for disrupting dominant teacher narratives and moving towards alternatives.

“This courageous exploration of what it means to be Teacher invites us to take our deepest selves to school. The brave and poetic educator authors empower by showing (not just telling about) ways to live beyond the limits of the ubiquitous traditional narratives of Teacher, inviting us to claim the power of self-definition as we choose which stories we believe about ourselves and about our students. Refreshingly honest and exquisitely crafted, (Re)narrating Teacher Identity can change the way you live in and out of school.”

Jan Burkins, co-author of Who’s Doing the Work?

“The icon of the controlled and controlling teacher, calm, sure and poised is repudiated in the accounts of these novice teachers, who reveal their anxieties and their anguish even as they extend themselves to the...

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