1 UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING IN A JUVENILE CORRECTIONS SCHOOL By KRISTIN MARIE MURPHY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS F OR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2014
2 Â© 2014 Kristin Marie Murphy
3 To my Grandma, who told me she would already be running to graduate school if she had been accepted. I ran bec ause of you.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I send my eternal love and gratitude to my family. I struggle to write these words as I know they can never fully encompass how I feel for you. I thank my Mom, Dad, Andrew, Nick, Owen, and Heidi the pug, in addition to m y Grandma and Poppy, Nana and Grandpa, and my many loving Aunties, Uncles, cousins , and friends for supporting me during the roller coaster ride that has been my doctoral work. You always knew how t o love me and support me best . I am a very lucky woman. Additionally, I would like to thank my colleagues turned family at the University of Florida. This includes my dear friends on Projects LLC and Liberate, my wacky and wonderful cohort, my Florida guardian angels Shaira, Vicki, and Michell . I will forev er be thankful for my dissertation committee: Drs. Mary Brownell, Joseph Gagnon, Paul Sindelar, and Larry Forthun. You pushed me to achieve my lifelong dream and to achieve things I never could have imagined . I have learned so much from each of you about what it means to be a mentor I also want to extend my gratitude to several other faculty members at the University of Florida . First, I would like to thank Mirka Koro Ljungberg for her support across the years in my development as a qualitative researcher . Second, I would like to thank Drs. Holly Lane, Erica MCray, James McLeskey, Stephen Smith, Penny Cox, and Diane Ryndak. Each of you pushed, challenged, and supported me as I progressed through this program. You were always there to offer advice, laugh ter, and help. I consider each of you as family. Beyond the University of Florida, I want to express gratitude for my relationships with Drs. Michael Giardina of Florida State University and David Houchins of Georgia State University. Michael, you have been a constant source of encouragement, laughter, and friendship from the moment we met over my microposter at ICQI. Thank
5 you for always believing in me and being one of my most cherished mentor s and friends . I am so lucky to have you in my life. Dav id, alongside Joe you have provided me with so many opportunities in the juvenile corrections world . Thank you for taking me under your wing . It is amazing to think that I arrived to Gainesville knowing not a single soul. I end this chapter of my lif e with bonds that I know will last a lifetime .
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Teacher Working Conditions ................................ ................................ ................... 14 Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools ................................ 17 Teacher Emotional R esponse to their Working Conditions ................................ ..... 21 Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 23 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 24 Rat ionale for Methodology ................................ ................................ ...................... 24 Study Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 25 2 TO THEIR WORKING CON DITIONS AT SCHOOL ................................ ................ 27 Teacher Working Conditions ................................ ................................ ................... 27 Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions ................................ .... 28 Methods for Review of Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 29 Review of Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions ................... 30 Quality and Access to Social Support ................................ .............................. 31 Quality of Professional Learning Opportunities ................................ ................ 37 Teaching and Education ................................ ................................ ............... 43 Challenging Student Populations ................................ ................................ ..... 49 Overall Limitations of Research on Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions ................................ ................................ ....................... 50 Summary: Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions ............ 51 Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools ................................ 54 Overall Limitations of the Research on Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools ................................ ................................ ........ 62 Summary: Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools ........ 63 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 64 Statement of Problem ................................ ................................ ............................. 65 3 RESEARCH DESIGN ................................ ................................ ............................. 67 Theoretical Perspective ................................ ................................ .......................... 67 Origins of Hermeneutics ................................ ................................ ................... 68 ................................ ................... 68
7 ................................ ................................ ............ 69 Sample Selection ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 70 Convenience Sampling ................................ ................................ .................... 71 Snowball Sampling ................................ ................................ ........................... 71 Study Participants and Contexts ................................ ................................ ............. 71 Sharon ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 71 Ron ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 72 Marie ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 72 Linda ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 72 Paul ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 73 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 73 Career Timelines ................................ ................................ .............................. 73 In depth Semi structured Interview s ................................ ................................ . 73 Researcher Preunderstanding ................................ ................................ .......... 75 Interview One ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 75 Interview T wo ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 75 Interview Three ................................ ................................ ................................ . 76 Data Analysis: The Listening Guide ................................ ................................ ........ 76 T ....... 77 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ........................... 77 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ........................... 78 Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices ................................ ................................ ..... 78 Step Four: Returning to the Whole/Synthesis ................................ ................... 79 Researcher Subjectivity: Expression of My Lived Experience ................................ 79 Establishing Trustworthiness ................................ ................................ .................. 86 Study Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 86 Protection of Human Participants ................................ ................................ ........... 87 Presentation of Findings ................................ ................................ ......................... 87 4 TEACHE R LISTENING GUIDES ................................ ................................ ............ 88 Overview of Listening Guide Analysis ................................ ................................ ..... 88 Sharon: The Lifelong Learner ................................ ................................ ................. 90 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ........................... 90 My response to the plot ................................ ................................ .............. 94 Attending to the parts of the whole ................................ ............................. 95 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ........................... 95 I poem one: Uncomfortable, part one ................................ ........................ 95 I poem two: Un comfortable, part two ................................ ......................... 96 I poem three: What I want/when I stop ................................ ...................... 96 I poem four: You and them (a teacher and her students) .......................... 97 Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices ................................ ................................ ..... 98 Voice of lifelong learner ................................ ................................ ............. 98 Voic e of dissonance ................................ ................................ ................... 98 Voice of surrender ................................ ................................ .................... 104 ................................ ........................ 105 Marie: The Emerging Fortunate Leader ................................ ................................ 106
8 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ......................... 106 My response to the plot ................................ ................................ ............ 109 Attending to the parts of the whole ................................ ........................... 110 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ......................... 110 I poem one: Fortu nate, part one ................................ .............................. 110 I poem two: Fortunate, part two ................................ ............................... 110 Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices ................................ ................................ ... 111 Voice of collaborator ................................ ................................ ................ 111 Voice of change ................................ ................................ ....................... 113 Step Four: Returning to Marie's Whole ................................ ........................... 116 Paul: The Gardener ................................ ................................ .............................. 117 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ......................... 117 My response to the plot ................................ ................................ ............ 122 Attending to the parts of the whole ................................ ........................... 122 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ......................... 123 I poe m one: Teacher as gardener ................................ ............................ 123 I poem two: All alone ................................ ................................ ............... 123 Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices ................................ ................................ ... 124 Voice of the past: Hopeless ................................ ................................ ..... 124 Voice of the present: Renewed hope ................................ ....................... 126 Step Four: Returning to Paul `s Whole ................................ ............................ 129 Linda: Juvie Mama ................................ ................................ ................................ 130 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ......................... 130 My res ponse to the plot ................................ ................................ ............ 13 3 Attending to the parts of the whole ................................ ........................... 133 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ......................... 133 I poem one: I fell into this ................................ ................................ ......... 134 I poem two: Talk to them ................................ ................................ .......... 134 Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices ................................ ................................ ... 135 Voice of mama ................................ ................................ ......................... 135 Voice of schism ................................ ................................ ........................ 137 Step four: Returning to Linda`s whol e ................................ ............................ 139 Ron: Meat, Potatoes, and Boredom ................................ ................................ ...... 141 Step One: The Plot ................................ ................................ ......................... 141 My response to the plot ................................ ................................ ............ 143 Attending to the parts of the whole ................................ ........................... 143 Step Two: I Poems ................................ ................................ ......................... 144 I ................................ ................................ ........... 144 I ................................ ............. 144 Step Three: Contrapu ntal Voices ................................ ................................ ... 145 Voice of coach ................................ ................................ ......................... 145 Voice of grit ................................ ................................ .............................. 147 Step Four: ................................ ............................. 150 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 152 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS ................................ ................................ ..... 153
9 New Understandings: The Importance of Teacher Expectations .......................... 154 Teaching Conditions and Reality of Working in JC Schools: The Role of Expectations ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 155 Social Support in JC Schools ................................ ................................ ......... 156 Professional Learning Opportunities in JC Schools ................................ ........ 159 Limit ations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 161 Implications ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 161 Implications for Future Research with Teachers in Juvenile Corrections Schools ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 161 Implications for Supporting Teachers in JC Schools ................................ ...... 163 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 165 APPENDIX A LIST OF DEFINITIONS ................................ ................................ ......................... 167 B RECRUITMENT AND INFORMED CONSENT FORMS ................................ ....... 169 C INTERVIEW PROTOCOLS ................................ ................................ .................. 172 D PARTICIPANT CAREER TIMELINE EXAMPLE ................................ ................... 175 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 177 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 187
10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy UNDERSTANDING THE EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING I N A JUVENILE CORRECTIONS SCHOOL By Kristin Marie Murphy August 2014 Chair: Mary Brownell Major: Special Education Teachers in JC schools operate in severely challenging working conditions that are characterized by experiences not found in typical publ ic school settings; these working conditions may heighten the risk of emotional exhaustion and burnout for JC teachers. JC teachers work in secure care facilities with emotionally volatile populations of students. Additionally, these teachers often lack a ppropriate training for the types of students they are expected to teach, and are required to work with other personnel who may have different priorities for st Although teachers in JC schools are likely to experience more challenging working conditions, little is known about how these teachers cope with such experiences. Researchers have primarily collected large scale survey data addressing their working conditions, and therefore the resulting knowledge base consists of broad information that does not necessarily fully represent teacher voice, opinion, and understanding, or interpretation, of their experiences . The purpose of this study was to gain in depth knowledge of how teachers understand their working conditions in the JC school setting by using perspective of hermeneutic understanding as a guiding framework. The guiding research question wa s: How do teachers understand (make
11 meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the juvenile corrections sch ool setting? Five teachers from juvenile corrections schools were interviewed three to four times each to gain knowledge on how they understand their experiences at work. Data was analyzed using the Listening Guide method . Findings revealed that the de gree to experiences with regards to social support, professional learning opportunities, and working with challenging students had implications for their satisfaction and commitment to their job. The results have implications for researchers, teacher educators, professional development providers, and administrators seeking to influence and improve
12 CHAPTER 1 IN TRODUCTION Teachers have been identified as having the greatest school level influence on student achievement (Goldhaber, 2010; Hanushek, 1998; McCaffrey, Koretz, Lockwood, & Hamilton, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005; Rockoff, 2004). Research indicat es that the most effective teachers can impact student achievement by as much as fifty percentile points (Brownell et al., 2010), and account for between 7 21% of variance in student achievement (Goldhaber, 2002; Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004; Rivki student success has become a centerpiece of education policy in the United States. Numerous policies and pieces of legislation have sought to not only increase teacher effectiveness, but to de mand that teachers and schools be held accountable as measured by their effectiveness. More than a decade ago, as part of an effort to place accountability at the forefront of educational priorities the Bush administration legislated the No Child Left Be hind Act which required that teachers be highly qualified as demonstrated by possession of a emergency license to teach, and subject matter competence in every taught subject (Boe, Boylard, & Packenham, 2008). Then, only seven years later, as teachers and schools were still attempting to satisfy NCLB mandates, President Obama introduced the high ly competitive multi billion dollar grant initiative, Race to the Top (RT3; U.S. Department of Education, 2009). This initiative insisted that states stop focusing on
13 achieve ment gains state educational agencies to compete for grants that would enable them to fund improvements for teaching and learning conditions in their schools. Not surprisingly, the effectiveness holding individual teachers accountable for achieving student proficiency goals and closing disparities between groups of students, largely based on their standardized assessment perfor mance. Thus, indirectly, RT3 has contributed to a situation in which scores (U.S. Department of Education, 2009) a situation that, understandably, causes many teachers to fee l intimidated and stressed. P lacing the responsibility for ensuring student success solely on teachers ignores many personal qualities (e.g., motivation, knowledge, and sk ill), teachers do not exist in a vacuum. The effectiveness of teachers also depends significantly on the quality of the working conditions in which they are situated (Almy & Tooley, 2012; Goldrick, Osta, & Maddock, 2010; Johnson, 2012; Kennedy, 2010; Kraf t, Papay, Charner Laird, Johnson, Ng, & Reinhorn, 2012; Leithwood, 2006 ; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008). Administrative support, social support, and access to necessary resources are essential in order for teachers to ap ply their knowledge and skill (McLes key & Billingsley). In response to such working conditions, teachers may disengage from the workplace, which negatively
14 impacts student achievement (Ladd, 2009; Johnson et al., 2012). Rather, in order for teachers to survive, thrive, and be effective in their work of helping students succeed, Teacher Working Conditions Teacher performance is dependent upon their motivation and abilities with in the work conditions in which they spend each day at school (Leithwood & McAdie, 2007; Kraft et al., 2012). Researchers have defined working conditions based on a variety of ons addressed organizational, interpersonal, and psychological components that were further comprised of seven aspects: (a) the physical features of the school structure itself and the resources and equipment it holds; (b) the organizational structure that defines authority, job descriptions, and workload; (c) the sociological features that define staff and student roles and characteristics, and how teachers experience their work; (d) the political features of the school, e.g. if and how teachers can partic ipate in decision making and the degree of power they hold; (e) the cultural features of the school that define norms and values; (f) the psychological features of the work that motivate or exhaust teachers; and (g) the educational features such as policie s and on how teachers perceive their quality. In a series of recent large scale quan titative studies examining teacher attrition, groups of scholars have each demonstrated that supportive working conditions for teachers appear to contribute to improved student academic achievement (Bryk et al.,
15 2010; Ladd, 2009; 2011; Johnson et al., 2012 Chicago Public Schools identified five social contextual variables of school working conditions that had a statistically significant effect on student atten dance and achievement gains in math and r eading: (a) cohe rent instructional guidance system; (b) professional capacity including recruitment, support and social resources; (c) parent community ties to school; (d) student centered learning environment; and (e) effective leadership. Schools characterized by what teachers perceive to be strong, positive levels of these conditions were much more likely to improve in the areas of st udent attendance, and math and r eading scores, whereas having a sustained weakness in any one of the conditions over several years underm ined positive student growth. In addition to those studies, recent qualitative research has enabled deeper and performance at work. Kraft et al. (2012) interviewed 83 teachers and 12 administrators from six high poverty elementary, middle, and high schools in an urban students; the rewards and demands of teaching in high poverty ur ban schools; how their career decisions. Among the findings were that teachers in the study were deeply committed to their work with students in high poverty schools in urban settings. In fact, many strategically chose this type of school setting because they believed this group of students needed high quality teachers more than studen ts at higher performing schools.
16 Teacher participants also frequently spoke about the strength and importance of the relationships they had developed with their students. While they described their specialized teaching role to be rewarding, the teachers also highlighted that there were many challenges beyond simply providing quality instruction due to the greater challenges that these students experienced in their lives (e.g., many teachers spoke specifically about the intensive mental health related need s of their students). The majority of the teachers viewed their work through a social justice lens, and felt that they had more holistic responsibilities on a societal level to help the students achieve a state of overall well being. When they were able t o achieve success with students in spite of these challenges, they felt that their job was even more satisfying than a mainstream teaching assignment (Kraft et al., 2012). stu dents were a primary reason that they chose to stay working at their current school, but that their ability to help their students attain success was dependent on the school context and supports provided at work. Teachers recognized that when working with in a school setting characterized by challenges (e. g., low income, urban, low academic achievement), they could not be successful on their own. Teacher success at school was largely contingent on how they felt about their capability to work successfully w ithin the everyday realities of their school working conditions. Across teacher participants, the social aspects of their working conditions seemed to be the most important. First, teachers emphasized that the degree and quality of support provided by ad ministrators and fellow colleagues including other teachers, counselors, and social workers was essential to properly address the complex needs of their students. Second, teachers
17 emphasized how the degree of quality and consistency of school wide behavio r management, climate, and goals could facilitate or seriously hinder their work. Ultimately, the working conditions within these schools served as a barrier or facilitator leave the school. Research has consistently demonstrated across many professions, including teaching, that when individuals perceive their working conditions to be problematic, they are likely to grow frustrated, burn out, and, if they do remain in the jo b, suffer from deteriorating levels of professional commitment and quality (Rosenholtz, 1989; Gersten et al., 2001). This phenomenon of work commitment deterioration is often referred to as ntinue to come to work physically , but intellectually and emotionally check out, ceasing to be actively involved in or give effort to their daily work duties (Yee, 1990; Gersten et al.). When teachers disengage from the workplace like this, student achiev ement inevitably suffers (Ladd, 2009; Johnson et al., 2012). Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools Teachers in juvenile corrections (JC) schools function in severely challenging working conditions that are not experienced in typical public school settings (Gagnon, Houchins, & Murphy, 2012; Houchins, Puckett Patterson, Crosby, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2009; Mathur, Clark, & Schoenfeld, 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). They experience distinct challenges as a school that resides within a correctional facility, which is different from traditional middle and secondary schools in several important ways (Houchins et al., 2009; Gagnon et al., 2012). Such schools require daily security
18 procedures and expose teachers to phenomena that can take and emotional well being. First, JC schools are situated in locked correctional facilities where youth are confined and also attend school. Secure care facilities exist for detained (i.e., those awaiting adjudication, or settle ment, of their cases) and committed (i.e., adjudicated youth) (Sickmund, 2003). Long term facilities typically hold youths for nine to ten months and sometimes as long as several years, whereas short term facilities hold youths anywhere from one to ninety days (Houchins et al., 2010). New students may be admitted and discharged each week and the roster of a JC teacher is subject to constant fluctuation, requiring that they design instruction to accommodate for frequent changes (Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). Second, in ad dition to educational personnel, treatment and security personnel work with students in J C schools . The spectrum of professionals working with youth in JC facilities have been trained to view and respond to student behaviors in a variety of ways that may conflict with each other (Leone & Weinberg, 2010; Meisel, Leone, Henderson, & Cohen, 1998). For instance, the secure care settings in which JC schools operate often rely on punishment, fear, control, and threat of isolation, as opposed to a school culture that emphasizes proactive and positive approaches to promoting prosocial behavior (Gagnon, Rockwell, & Scott, 2008; Gundy, Bryant, & Starks, 2013; Wright, 2005). Thus, in many cases, it is likely that facility wide priorities related to sec urity and safety may conflict with and take priority over educational concerns (EDJJ, 2010), forcing the teacher to delay instruction or academic goals/timelines.
19 Finally, JC schools serve a student population that has significantly higher rates of educati onal disabilities, mental health disorders, and patterns of antisocial behavior in comparison to regular public school settings. There is an overrepresentation of low income students with overwhelmingly negative previous experiences in school often result ing in truancy, expulsion, and dropping out (Gagnon & Barber, 2010; Gagnon, Houchins, & Murphy, 2012; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010; Mulcahy & Leone, 2012; Nelson, Sprague, Jolivette, Smith, & Tobin, 2009; Wang, Blomberg, & Li, 2005). A lthough students in JC are afforded the same rights under IDEA (2006) and NCLB (2002), JC schools have a long history of noncompliance with policy and only come into compliance in light of reform driven by federal litigation (Gagnon, 2010; Gagnon, Murphy, Steinberg, Gaddis, & C rockett, 2013; Mulcahy & Leone). To complicate matters, many personnel are ill equipped to properly serve the needs of students in JC schools. One study identified that only approximately one third of facility personnel possessed training about disabilit ies, despite the fact that this population is overrepresented in JC classrooms (Kvarfordt, Purcell, & Shannon, 2004). In a study comparing teachers in general public schools nationwide, JC school teachers in Florida had less experience, lower rates of cert ification, and more were teaching out of field (Ciftci & Pesta, 2006). When personnel lack disability related training, and teachers lack certification in Special Education, this can seriously affect instruction and academic progress for students with dis abilities and learning impairments (Moody, 2003; Mathur et al., 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). Research has been conducted that sheds light on JC teacher perceptions of their working conditions, using a collection of surveys evaluating attrition, rete ntion, and job
20 satisfaction factors in JC schools (Houchins, Shippen, & Cattret, 2004; Houchins et al., 2006; Houchins et al., 2009; Houchins, Shippen, McKeand, & Viel Ruma, 2010). These ducation teachers who are more satisfied in their working conditions are more likely to remain in their positions. Houchins and his colleagues asserted that JC teachers were likely to face many of the same challenges in their working conditions that specia l educators did, but that there had been little to no previous research examining the attitudes of teachers in the JC school setting. Across the four studies, teachers reported being generally satisfied with their work; however, their responses also illum inated many of the barriers present in their working conditions. For example, the majority of teachers reported a lack of appropriate support staff, poor relationships with security personnel, a lack of support from administrators, and insufficient contac t with parents. Additionally, many teachers believed that they had inappropriate curriculum materials, lack of access to technology, and that less than half of their students were making sufficient progress. Half of teacher respondents indicated experien cing stress due to student behavior schools often feel that they do not have the resources or access to support that is necessary to meet their goals. Compounding these barriers is the sense of isolation felt by JC teachers. For nearly twenty years researchers have written about how, amidst their sea of challenges, JC school educators feel isolated from not only each other, but from their colleagues in general public sch ool settings, as well as local education agencies, and state departments of education (Coffey & Gemignani, 1994; Gagnon et al., 2012; Houchins et
21 al., 2009; Mathur et al., 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). Given the challenges created by their working cond itions and the sense of isolation they feel, it is not surprising that JC schools have high rates of teacher turnover (Houchins, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2006). For example, in 2006, 47% of teachers in Florida left their jobs teaching in JC schools (Ciftci & Pesta, 2006). Although teachers in JC schools face one of the most complicated landscapes in public education, there is a serious lack of research that provides rich and detailed ions. The current research exploring teacher perceptions of their work and working conditions in this unique setting is limited to survey responses to highly structured survey nses and not accurately reflect their actual individual perceptions of the phenomena at hand, a lack of research about the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, skills, and emotional well being of individual teachers in the JC school setting (Houchins et al., 2004; 2006; 2009; may fill. Teacher Emotional Response to their Working Condition s represent reactions to a stimulus or an evaluation of a stimulus in the surrounding environm ent (Fridja, 1988). Judgments and decisions, as well as motives, are strongly based on affect, or an emotional response to something (Epstein, 1993; Slovic et al., -
22 to d ay classroom management, instruction, and interactions with colleagues, and on being (Chang, 2009; Hargreaves, 1998; Sutton & Wheatley, 2003; Zembylas, 2004). being depends on the interaction betwe en themselves and the social, cultural, and institutional environment in which they work each day (Sleegers & Kelchtermans, 1999). Teachers experience a sense of emotional well eatively, (Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project, 2008, p. 10). Studies that focus on hat teachers have positive emotional responses to their work when they receive social support, adequate training, and work in a school where the culture aligns with their own beliefs about school (e.g., Darby, 2008; Hargreaves, 2005; Zembylas & Barker, 200 7). The negative working conditions that JC teachers and other teachers in challenging environments are likely to encounter, however, put them at risk for having negative emotional responses to their work. Teachers struggle to feel successful when they are situated in unsupportive working conditions (Almy & Tooley, 2012; Chang, 2009; Hargreaves, 1998; Johnson, 2006). When teachers have sustained exposure over time to conditions that interfere with their ability to successfully perform their job or feel i ncluded in the workplace, the quality of their work suffers, and they are at risk for burnout and may leave the school (Chang; Tsouloupas, Carson, Matthews, Grawitch, & Barber 2010).
23 ention from researchers in the past twenty years, there is still much to be learned about how work, it has received little attention in policy efforts that have focused primarily on technical aspects of teaching (Hargreaves, 1998; Hargreaves, 2002; Zembylas & Barker, 2007). This omission from the research is a major one. The experience of teaching is more than executing technical skills and achieving performance standards. Teaching is an emotional practice (Denzin, 1984) and emotions are an integral and inescapable aspect of the teaching profession. Problem Teachers in JC schools work with 134,000 of the most vulnerable and academically disadvantaged youths each day, or half a million annually, across the United States (Livsey, Sickmund, & Sladky, 2009; Quinn, Rutherford, Leone, Osher, & Poirer, 2005; Shippen, Patterson, Green, & Smitherman, 2012). Difficult working conditions exist in JC schools including instructional and behavioral management challenges related to its location inside locked correctional facilities, the lack of appropriate training and support for staff in light of student charact eristics, and competing priorities of different facility personnel (Gagnon, Houchins, & Murphy, 2012; Houchins, Puckett Patterson, Crosby, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2009; Mathur, Clark, & Schoenfeld, 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). These working conditions a re likely to foster intense negative emotional responses to the workplace on the part of JC teachers. What is known about how these teachers cope with such experiences can be attributed to a small number of survey based research studies with standardized a nd
24 predetermined questions. Such methodology leaves out potentially important information and stories. As such, information is needed about how JC teachers understand and emotionally respond to their working conditions and how these responses may influen ce their commitment to teaching students in these facilities. Purpose Research must seek to understand the variety of working conditions that teachers face across the spectrum of diverse school contexts (Berry, Smylie, & Fuller, 2008; Kraft et al., 2012) , as well as how teachers understand and interact with their Barker, 2007). Research must seek to shed light on how teachers personally understand and emotionally respond to their work. The purpose of this study was to gain an in depth understanding of how teachers understand their working conditions in the JC school setting by using perspective of hermeneutical understanding as a guiding framework for my research. The guiding research question wa s: How do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the juvenile corrections school setting? The research question was open and broad because the nature of qualitative research necessit ates that research questions be responsive to the directions in which participants may take the focus of the study. Rationale for Methodology Researchers have primarily collected large scale survey data addressing teacher working conditions, and therefore the resulting knowledge base consists of broad information that does not necessarily fully represent teacher voice, opinion, and
25 understanding, or interpretation, of their experiences (Johnson, Berg, & Donaldson, 2005). In fact, it has been noted that the current research about teacher working for the individual to understand the direct influences of particular aspects of working 008, p. 35). There is a similar trend in the literature that specifically examines the working conditions of teachers in juvenile corrections schools. The knowledge base about teacher perceptions of their working conditions in juvenile corrections school s is primarily informed by just four survey studies conducted by Houchins and his colleagues in Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio (2004; 2006; 2009; 2010). This study provides an in depth understanding of how teachers understand their experiences in JC school working conditions. Because teachers have a subjective lens, which develops over the course of their career, through which they understand their work and subsequently choose to act (Kelchtermans, 1996), narrative inquiry is an ideal methodological choice to provide insight into their experiences (Polkinghorne, 2007). More specifically, the collection of career stories will allow an understanding of how teachers think about themselves and their working conditions (Kelchtermans). Study Limitations This stu dy had three limitations. First, the participants did not craft their Listening Guide narratives independently; as the researcher, I played the primary role in the construction of the final narrative (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan et al., 2003; Lewis, 2008). Second, the study was limited to the experiences reported by the specific teachers that opted to participate in my study. It could be the case that if more and/or different participants were included, the findings could have been different; for in stance,
26 other themes or different aspects of themes could have emerged based on the inclusion of more and/or different participants. Finally, the small sample size and qualitative nature limit the gen eralizability of these findings. The study aims to ach ieve particularizability through rich descriptions so that the findings may be applied accordingly elsewhere
27 CHAPTER 2 THEIR WORKING CONDITIONS AT SCHOOL The purpose of was study is to explor e how teachers in juvenile corrections (JC) school settings understand their working conditions. In this chapter, I will present evidence from research that has examined the ways in which teachers emotionally respond to their working conditions at school. To accomplish this task, the chapter is divided into three sections. The chapter begins with a brief overview of the importance of teacher working conditions. In the second section, I present a review of research examining teacher emotional response to their working conditions at school in general. In the third section, I present the research available about teacher response to working conditions in JC schools. The chapter concludes with a comprehensive summary that links the existing literature with th e research questions addressed by this study. Teacher Working Conditions goals and closing disparities between groups of students, largely based on their standardized assessment p erformance, has taken center stage in education policy, as depends on many personal qua lities such as motivation, knowledge, and skill, their success also depends significantly on the quality of the working conditions in their schools (Almy & Tooley, 2012; Goldrick, Osta, & Maddock, 2010; Johnson, 2012; Kennedy, 2010; Kraft, Papay, Charner L aird, Johnson, Ng, & Reinhorn, 2012; Leithwood, 2006; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008).
28 can be a barrier or facilitator to their work quality, job satisfaction, and emotional w ell being (Hargreaves, 1998; Johnson, 2006; Johnson, Kraft, & Papay, 2011; Rosenholtz & Simpson, 1990; Sleegers & Kelchtermans, 1999). When teachers have a negative emotional response to their working conditions, they are at risk for emotional distress, bu rnout, or in many cases, attrition (Chang, 2009; Tsouloupas et al., 2010). Instead, working conditions that facilitate learning and a sense of accomplishment are a necessity for teachers to be successful in their primary work objective: helping students t o experience learning and success (Sarason, 1972). Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions involves much more than technical skills and achieving performance st andards; it is a highly emotional profession, and the emotions teacher feel at work are an inescapable aspect of their work (Denzin, 1984). Teachers emotionally respond to the factors that make up their working conditions and these responses influence the ir actions (Cross & Hong, 2009). Teacher emotional well being depends on the degree to which interactions among teachers and their social, cultural, and institutional environments result in environments that feel either supportive or negative (Sleegers & Kelchtermans, 1999). Teachers experience a sense of emotional well develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive ental Capital and Wellbeing Project, 2008, p. 10). In the following section I present a review of research on the ways in which teachers respond emotionally to their working conditions at school. Specifically, I review
29 literature illuminating teacher emot ional response to the following aspects of school working conditions: quality and access to social support, quality of ongoing training, and education. I also briefly di scuss the research, or lack thereof, on teacher emotional response to challenging populations. Methods for Review of Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions To begin my search for literature, I conducted a search in EBSCOhost for peer revi ewed journals containing the keywords teacher and emotion or emotional well being to gain an initial understanding of the broader body of teacher emotion research. Based on the themes I observed emerging from this broad based search, subsequent searches a lso included social support or relationship or burnout or emotional labor or job satisfaction. Research studies that did not address issues specific to teachers of K 12 students in public schools were excluded. Both qualitative and quantitative papers ar e included in this review. literature review, which was the first comprehensive review of teacher emotion literature. This review covered research studies until 2003. Sutton and review identified research focusing on the positive and negative emotions experienced by teachers, along with a review of research and theory to support the notions that teacher emotion may influence motivation, cognition, and students. Based o n Sutton researched emotion as a phenomenon primarily occurring within the person, with the exception of implications for students. The research did not acknowledge the trans actional relationship between teachers and their working conditions. However, it
30 did conclude by suggesting this area as a future area of research inquiry. Thus, I refined my search to consist of articles from 2003 2012 as a follow up to Sutton and Wheat working conditions. The key words teacher and emotion were entered into EBSCOhost and identified 486 results in peer reviewed journals from 2003 2012. Subsequent searches of Goo gle Scholar and Wilson Web databases using the same key words resulted in 180 and 208 results that were already represented in the initial EBSCOHost search. Based on the inclusion exclusion criteria used during the initial search that identified Sutton an d Wheatley (2003) , 39 of the 486 articles were selected. Of the 39 s ources identified, 13 research articles were selected because they addressed issues specific to K 12 teachers in public schools . In the following section, I will discuss the three primar y areas of teacher emotion research identified in my search: Finally, I will discuss suggestions for future research and implications for the field of teacher emotional well being based on the review. Review of Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working C onditions Thirteen studies specifically focused on teacher emotional response to their working conditions were included in this review . After reviewing findings from these studies, I identified the following school and classroom factors as playing a role in teacher emotional well being at work: quality and access to social support, quality of beliefs about teaching and education, and challenging student populations. In this section, I will review the studies identified in each of these areas, discuss the limitations of the research reviewed, and provide a synthesis of the findings.
31 Quality and Access to Social Support Four studies were identified in the teacher emotion res earch that specifically identified quality and access to social support as an important influence on teacher emotional well being in their school and classroom (Demetriou, Wilson, & Winterbottom, 2009; Jakhelln, 2011; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011; Zembylas & Barker, 2007). When teachers display positive emotions towards others, they are more likely to foster better relationships with peers and supervisors. This results in an increased sense of belonging, increased support, and job satisfaction (Demetriou et a l.; Skaalvik & Skaalvik). Strong relationships with students and staff at work appeared to be a protective factor against negative emotions and emotional exhaustion even when challenging school contextual variables were present (Skaalvik & Skaalvik). Acr oss the studies, findings were consistent: an increase in perceived social support at work led to positive emotions, stronger relationships, and greater job satisfaction. When teachers perceived that they had less social support, they had greater feelings of isolation, detachment from their work, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction. Zembylas and Barker (2007) sought to examine the emotional responses of teachers in the context of a reform effort. These researchers wanted to understand: (a) how teachers enacted their positive and/or negative feelings about reforms in their school; and (b) how teachers created spaces for coping with change and what characterized these spaces. Data sources included audiotapes and field notes of instruction, tapes of conv ersations and interviews, meetings, written reflective commentaries by the participants, and copies of student written work. A total of 12 interviews and observations with each of six teachers were conducted.
32 Grounded theory data analysis revealed three coping with change. These aspects were: (a) time and space as sources of social and concerns. This analysis suggests that teachers respond emotionally to the reform effort and that these emotions can be negative or positive depending on working conditions, social relationships, and moral/personal values and concerns attached to the reform effort. Unfortunately, the trustworthiness and cred ibility of data collected in this analysis is diminished by the quality of research reported. While the authors reported on the technical procedures for completing a grounded theory analysis, they failed to connect data to themes. Results appeared almost anecdotal in nature. In a mixed methods study, Demetriou, Wilson, and Winterbottom (2009) sought teaching in the United Kingdom. Three hundred and five early career Sci ence high school teachers (eight years of teaching experience or less) completed surveys about their intentions to continue teaching science. Female participants reported plans to stay in the teaching field longer compared to male participants. A second survey completed by 512 early career teachers addressed work satisfaction, autonomy support, perceived competence, and intrinsic motivation. The results of this survey indicated several statistically significant differences between male and female teachers . Women described placing more importance on and putting more effort into their teaching than men. The authors used these survey findings to conduct follow up interviews with 11
33 new teachers who had close ties to the University about their first three yea rs of teaching. communication with their students, the attributes of an ideal lesson, ability to reflect, and perception of their own teaching quality. Female teachers repo rted being more likely to view each of their students as individuals and tailored instruction to meet their unique needs. Additionally, they spoke about the importance of relationships with colleagues and their students as integral to success in their work . Male teachers also spoke about the importance of relationships with students in order to teach the content and were more frustrated by discipline and behavior issues because they interfered with their ability to deliver instruction. Additionally, male teachers were found to have greater difficulty asking for assistance from colleagues and generally had weaker coping skills when faced with problematic situations. Over time, the impact of isolation and lack of collaboration with others led to greater sel f criticism and lower job satisfaction. Based on the interviews, participants reported believing that rapport with colleagues and classroom, and ultimately, working cond itions for both male and female teachers. Teachers reported in the interviews that an improved working environment led to increased job satisfaction. Although the researchers in this study secured the largest participant sample of any study included in th is review, there were two primary weaknesses in the interview portion of the study: 1) vague description of the context in which the study was done, and 2) a lack of detailed procedures for data analysis. After reviewing the surveys and
34 interview guide, I found no opportunity in the surveys for teachers to speak explicitly about school context. Additionally, although the interview guide provided more flexibility for talking about context, there was no information provided about the school contexts of the te achers interviewed. Further, there was no description of data analysis procedures or processes for a member check drawing into question the credibility of the results. Furthermore, there is no way of connecting interview results to different types of scho ol contexts. Skaalvik and Skaalvik (2011) sought to examine the relationship between school context variables, teacher job satisfaction, and intention to leave the profession in 2,569 teachers in 127 elementary and middle schools in Norway. Teachers from these schools were sampled using a stratified random procedure so that different regions of the country were represented. Variables studied included value consonance (defined chool in which they taught), supervisory support, relationships with colleagues, relations with parents, time pressure, discipline problems, belonging, emotional exhaustion, job satisfaction, and motivation to leave. To investigate relationships among var iables, participants completed a questionnaire with items specifically addressing how each variable was analyzed via structural equation modeling. Eighty four percent of teachers responded to the questionnaires. Seventy two percent of respondents were fe male ranging in age from 23 69. Sixty three percent of teachers taught elementary aged students and 37% taught at the middle school level. Results indicated that value consonance, supervisory support, and positive relations with parents and colleagues were predictive of belonging. Time pressure and
35 of belonging and emotional exhaustion were predictive of job satisfaction and motivation to leave the job profession. Although zero order correlations showed that all six context variables were significantly related to job satisfaction, the SEM analysis demonstrated that two constructs (relations with parents and time pressure) had an indirect relationship to job satisfac tion. The SEM analysis indicated that all school context variables were indirectly related to job satisfaction, and were moderated by emotional exhaustion or belonging. As a result, the authors suggested that belonging and emotional exhaustion were key v ariables in mediating the impact of school context desire to leave the professi on likely influenced their day to day engagement with their work, colleagues, and students, and may have ultimately affected their teaching quality. This study provides support for future research that considers the role of school otional well being. It also points to the need for more research examining individual variables and their role in emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. Variables analyzed for the study explained a moderate portion of variance, 53 % , in teacher ing of belonging, and 39% of variance in teacher emotional exhaustion, thus leaving a considerable percentage of the variation unexplained. More in depth qualitative research endeavors could be used to better understand a sense of belonging across differen t teachers and school contexts. Finally, one study identified the importance of relationships for beginning teachers. Jakhelln (2011) examined the role of emotional labor in beginning career
36 teachers in Norway. Emotional labor occurs when one is required to conceal or project certain emotions, regardless of how an individual truly feels, in order to maintain a desired organizational condition when working with colleagues, clients, or students (Hochschild, 2003). Jakhelln predicted that emotional challenge s associated with teaching might be greatest when novices enter the profession. A collective case study design was used to examine differences and similarities across three new teachers in an upper secondary school. These teachers were purposively chosen because they worked within different contexts in their school. Over the course of two years, Jakhelln made eight one and a half day visits to the school and collected a variety of data including: (a) teacher headmaster were also interviewed. Analysis of the data indicated that all thre e teachers experienced negative relationships with veteran teachers in the school. They indicated that a more inclusive school environment for new teachers would be beneficial for their well being. These new teachers felt that their efforts at creativity , innovation, and professionalism were not well received. Additionally, there was little attention paid to areas for improvement or new teacher support efforts. Hans criticized school management while Anna and Hanna specifically criticized colleagues. A nna perceived that her emotional displays at work broke the emotional display rules of the school, and as a result, she felt rejected by fellow colleagues. Hans began to feel a sense of detachment; Hanna felt disillusioned; and Anna experienced a sense of burnout. As a result of these findings,
37 Jakhelln (2011) suggested that school communities place a priority on implementing and emotional well being and growth. Although three participants, she engaged in several research techniques that improved the trustworthiness and credibility of her data. First, she presented a detailed account of each teacher participant and the school communit y. Additionally, she provided her theoretical perspective and the nature of her relationship with the school community and teacher participants. Quality of Professional Learning Opportunities Most studies examining professional learning opportunities an d their influence on teacher emotions were conducted within the context of school reform efforts. Reform efforts require teachers to change what they are currently doing and sometimes substantially. Teachers may feel that they do not have the skills to be successful in the reform or the time to devote to making needed changes. Thus, reform efforts are likely to evoke strong emotional responses from teachers. Four studies were identified that specifically identified quality of professional learning opportun ities being in their school and classroom (Darby, 2008; Lee & Yin, 2011; Ross, Romer, & Horner, 2012; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). These studies provided evidence supporting the importance of effective train ing in order to achieve fidelity of implementation as well as improved teacher emotional well being. Darby (2008) examined teacher emotion specifically in the context of NCLB driven reform in one United States elementary school. The school was identified as a School in Need of Improvement (SINI) for the second consecutive year in 2000. For
38 two years, Darby conducted critical incident interviews using symbolic interactionism as a theoretical framework with 19 teachers from the school to understand what th eir emotions were in relation to reform changes. Specifically, she examined what incidents provoked emotions, and how they discussed these in relation to their self understanding. Archival data was also collected which included email correspondences betwe en the researchers and teachers, faculty meeting notes, and public documents about reform activities and plans at the school. Inductive analysis revealed that teachers experienced feelings of fear and anxiety when faced with changes to their curriculum and instruction. image suffered and they felt angry. However, after working with university collaborators in an effort to improve their instructional strategies, teachers felt like their te aching ability improved and they became receptive to reform efforts. Additionally, teachers reported feeling pride and excitement when they witnessed improvements in student academic achievement in their classroom. Three years after initial reform implem entation, teachers reported having a more positive self image and believed they had improved in their instructional delivery. They also noticed differences in faculty conversations. Teachers complained less and spoke more about student success stories. D arby (2008) indicated that students increased their reading achievement scores though specific scores were not provided. The growth in teachers and their metamorphosis from negative to positive emotion was largely attributed to the positive, supportive, an d collaborative relationship fostered between university coaches and teachers. Darby (2008) concluded that accountability measures and reform initiatives alone were unable
39 to foster positive change; strong relationships among stakeholders are necessary fo r positive results to be incurred. Further, although teachers were initially anxious about collaborating with university faculty, they became less anxious as their excitement for the reform grew and they saw the ability of the reform to improve student ac hievement outcomes. The methodology and analysis used in this study were quite strong; however, the author could have provided student achievement scores as evidence for student progress to strengthen the study. As part of a four year qualitative case stud y, Schmidt and Datnow (2005) conducted semi structured interviews with 75 teachers across five separate schools in Florida and California to gain an understanding of how they made sense of comprehensive school reform occurring in their schools. Interviews occurred at least one year after the reform effort had begun in each school. All teachers interviewed had been at their school for at least one year. Most teachers were interviewed once and several were interviewed twice although the authors do not spec ifically identify how many were interviewed more than once, or when interviews occurred. During the interview, teachers were asked to describe the comprehensive school reform model, their feelings during its initiation and implementation, and examples of r esults that created positive and negative emotions. They were also asked how an outsider would recognize, by spending time in their classroom, that the school had adopted their specific reform model. The schools selected represented a range of success wi th reform implementation. There were five different comprehensive school reform models being implemented across five schools. The reforms had different foci: some focused on pedagogy and curriculum, others focused on school culture, and some focused on
40 pedagogy, curriculum, and school culture. Additionally, three reform designs were highly structured and came with a pre designed curriculum, lesson plans, implementation guidelines, and professional development. The other two were considerably more open ended, requiring schools to engage in a more self driven process of design and implementation. The authors used a case study method and grounded theory approach for analysis, Teachers at schools with more structured reforms efforts appeared knowledgeable about the reform efforts in their schools and were able to provide accurate descriptions. They also talked more frequently about stress in comparison to teachers from other schools. However, most of the teachers in more structured models also spoke favor ably about reform in their schools; they were more likely to observe positive benefits for their students than teachers in schools with less well structured reforms. Teachers in schools with less structured reforms used mostly vague descriptions when aske unable to offer any knowledge about the reform. Furthermore, these teachers had difficulty identifying how the reform connected to their practices in their first interview. Some teachers were inter viewed a second time and provided more knowledgeable descriptions; unfortunately the authors did not identify how much time had elapsed prior to the second interview. Some teachers reported negative emotion when they felt that the reform provided little au tonomy for making important instructional decisions. Teachers in the less structured reform model schools gave vague definitions of the reform and were more likely than teachers in structure reforms to make adaptations to the reform that fit what they felt students needed.
41 Schmidt and Datnow (2005) concluded that based on findings, schools would be well served to acknowledge that teachers need training and ongoing guidance from experts and opportunities for collaboration with each other in order to understa nd the reform, reconcile how it will fit into their existing classroom reality, and grow comfortable with incorporating and implementing the reform model in their own classrooms. o not connect excerpts to specific schools. This results in an inability to demonstrate how themes identified were related to particular reform efforts. Additionally, there was no explanation of how the codes they developed ultimately led to their themes . China. In their qualitative study, they specifically investigated the relationships among ntext of a national education reform. The reform included three primary changes: new textbooks, new teaching approaches, and a new college entrance examination. Twenty two participants at three different secondary schools in China participated in the stud y. In total, there were 19 teachers and three participants in school leadership roles. Lee and Yin conducted semi structured interviews and collected a variety of documents from participants including reflective journals, teacher blog entries, and discus sion records from an online forum. Based on inductive analysis, Lee and Yin (2011) identified three types of teachers: (a) losing heart accommodators; (b) drifting followers; and (c) cynical performers. Losing heart accommodators were passionate at the beginning of reform efforts but lost enthusiasm during implementation. Drifting followers were those
42 teachers that may have been a little excited about the reform efforts initially but ultimately did not consider themselves as significant stakeholders in the process. Finally, the cynical performers were those that resisted the reform emotionally but externally and behaviorally they were obedient to the reform procedures. Although many of the teachers were at least somewhat enthusiastic about the reform m easures in the beginning, the majority of participants felt negatively about the reform over time because there was not enough ongoing support to assist them in implementation. While Lee and Yin (2011) describe the process of how to do an inductive anal ysis and include a table showing a progression from themes to categories to subcategories, they fail to show how they utilized the variety of data they collected to inform their analysis. Additionally, the authors do not report on their subjectivity, descr ibe their recruitment strategies or relationships with participants, or provide information on when interviews occurred during the study. Finally, Ross and his colleagues (2012) studied the relationship between teacher perceptions of burnout, well being, and efficacy and the degree to which their school was implementing effectively school wide positive behavior interventions (SWPBIS). Elementary schools in Oregon completed the Schoolwide Evaluation Tool (SET) to assess implementation fidelity of SWPBIS. Researchers used the following micro and mesosystem measure. The microsystem measure was a survey consisting of demographic items in addition to embedded items from the Maslach Burnout Inventory Educators Survey (MBI ES; Maslach & Jackson, 1981) and the Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001). Mesosystem measures were school variables including environmental factors and school level
43 practices. Next, researchers administered surveys to 184 teachers across forty elem entary schools in Oregon (20 schools each of low and high performing schools on the SET). Data were analyzed using a multilevel regression approach to analyze interactions between school and teacher level variables. Findings revealed strong relationship s between the fidelity of implementation of efficacy and burnout. This was particularly true for teachers from schools with a high number of students on free and reduced lunch. Implementation fidelity of SWPBIS in low SES schools positively predicted teacher self efficacy. The authors concluded that SWPBIS may improve student efficacy. However, without pretest measures of self efficacy, it is difficult to dete rmine if teachers were more self efficacious and therefore more likely to implement practices with fidelity, or if learning to implement practices with fidelity resulted in more self efficacious teachers. Furthermore, this study only represents one group of schools in one state so the results should be generalized with caution. e rsonal Beliefs about Teaching and E ducation Teachers view responding to student needs as apriority and prize autonomy when making decisions related to their classroom practice. Thus, teachers often experience a sense of dissonance when they feel that their school prioritizes technical tasks and prescribes duties that focus solely on academic outcomes. This sense of dissonance can l ead to negative emotions. When teachers feel that their schools support autonomy, creativity, and caring in teaching roles, they experience positive emotions and job satisfaction.
44 Four studies were identified in the teacher emotion research that specifica lly personal beliefs about teaching, and education for teacher emotional well being Zembylas, 2004). Across these studies, researchers found that teachers responded negatively to their work when they felt that their personal teaching philosophy conflicted with that set forth by the school. Zembylas (2004) used an ethnographic study of one teache r to gain an in depth understanding of the emotional complexities inherent in her daily life at school. Data collection occurred over 3 years and consisted of a series of unstructured interviews followed by field observations during Science lessons, an em otion diary, and a collection of teaching documents. Ultimately, Zembylas collected over 45 hours of observed the teacher while she was teaching Science lessons. In addition to observations and interviews, Zembylas maintained a log about his ongoing impressions of the teacher. He regularly shared his log with the teacher during interviews. Findings from this study established that the teacher experienced emotions of guilt an d disappointment because of her political context at work. She spoke about the dissonance between expectations to teach specific science content knowledge so that her students would fare well on standardized tests and wanting to implement more inquiry bas ed science lessons. Additionally, she spoke about feeling isolated from colleagues and lacking social support. The general climate in her school focused less
45 belief that Science should be exciting and should allow the students to engage in risk taking needed for discovery, combined with her attempts to focus on student learning allowed her to overcome her negative emotions and focus her energies on creating a positive lear ning experience for students in her classroom. This study collected information from a variety of sources and was explicit in how the researcher and participant interacted with each other and their data. The study is a strong qualitative research endeav or where connections are made between the theoretical perspective of the study, research questions, data collection, and data analysis. The data collection and analysis process are transparent, easy to follow, and flow logically to the results. In a study of thirty two 7th and 8th grade teachers and their principals in Toronto, Hargreaves (2005) sought to examine how teachers felt about educational change and its effect on their relationships with students. Principals purposively selected teachers charact erized as being committed to implementing a reform effort to participate in the study. Teachers and principals were interviewed individually about reform changes including implementation of standardized learning outcomes, integrated curriculum, and utiliz ation of alternate assessment. Interviews focused on perceptions and responses to reform and how it affected their lives at work and outside work. A narrative was created based on the following findings: (a) students as an emotional filter; (b) feelings about structure; (c) feelings about pedagogy; and (d) desire to meet the academic and emotional needs of their students, played a strong role in all of these themes. The relationships teachers had with their students informed how
46 they instructed, evaluated, and made decisions for and with their students. In terms of structure, teachers had strong feelings about having longer more open ended periods of time with students versus shorter block periods of time. When teachers had the longer open ended periods, they felt they had more freedom to let student learning and progress guide their instructional decision making as opposed to teachers that had shorter time blocks. The se teachers talked about how short time blocks prevented natural learning processes and hindered their relationships with students. The teachers reported using a variety of teaching methods as part of their pedagogy to help their students academically and emotionally in addition to helping themselves enjoy the act of teaching. When teachers spoke about planning, they had strong feelings about their level of autonomy. Teachers felt negatively about reform when faced with imposed and/or formatted planning. When teachers had more freedom to plan as they choose, they spoke about the excitement of brainstorming and the generation and sharing of ideas with colleagues. They also felt more in control of creating curriculum to meet their The trustworthiness and credibility of this study could be improved by appropriately addressing several items. First, the authors need to state their theoretical and epistemological perspectives. Second, include a subjectivity statement and describe t he degree of rapport and relationships formed among their participants and school communities. Third, there is little context provided about the content of the interviews and where they occurred. Fourth, although the authors provide a detailed account of how they generated themes and subthemes to create a narrative, the study
47 could be improved upon by inclusion of data analysis procedures and how credibility and trustworthiness were established. Hebson and his colleagues (2007) interviewed 26 teacher s in England whose teaching effectiveness was questioned. The participants, both male and female, taught in primary and secondary grades. Based on interviews with participants, researchers concluded that teachers felt standards based reform took away thei r sense of autonomy, creativity, and sense of freedom. Although teachers thought it was important to bring a sense of caring and emotion into their classrooms, the standards based reform called for, what seemed to them, a more prescribed, cold, and techni cal role. Specifically, the teachers reported that it became more difficult to feel and display positive emotions. Teachers that had been working for a longer time reported reform based changes in roles and expectations to be particularly difficult. Spe cifically, they reported feeling that their caring characteristics were no longer respected and held in high regard by supervisors and were instead judged on their ability to hit specific ported feeling that they had less time to care for students (Hebson et al., 2007). The credibility, trustworthiness, and plausibility of the study are hindered due to several methodological limitations. The researchers neglect to state their theoretical and epistemological perspective and fail to provide a subjectivity statement that situates them within the research. Additionally, while the researchers state that they conducted interviews with participants, they do not provide adequate information abou t the content of the interviews or information about the rapport and relationship established with participants. Finally, while the article provides a summary of what teachers spoke about
48 in the interviews, the researchers do not inform the reader as to h ow the data were analyzed thus further compromising the quality of the study. teachers in Australia where national teacher standards had just been introduced. This qualitative s tudy specifically sought to investigate how the teachers utilized and managed their emotions to care for students and what effect their attempts to manage their emotions had on their professional decisions in the classroom. Two semi structured interviews conducted with each teacher. The teachers were secondary humanities teachers with over five years of classroom experience and worked in a variety of school contexts, thus enabling them to discuss their experiences in a variety of situated contexts. Based on the teachers she interviewed: (a) caring as performative; (b) caring as a professional; and (c) caring as philosophical/humanistic. In caring as a performative act, the teacher tailors his/her behavior to motivate students in a direction that will help teachers reach pedagogical goals. Performative caring does not always align with how a teacher feels. T he teacher will act in a way that is necessary for accomplishing an instructional objective. In caring as a professional, the teacher works on management and maintenance of appropriate teacher/student relationships. Specifically, two of the teachers spok e about limits to how much care they can exhibit while still preserving the boundary between work and personal life. In caring as philosophical/humanistic, the teacher makes a personal decision to care based on their own philosophy or code of ethics. A c ommon topic across the interviews was the discrepancy between the rational
49 and prescribed role of teaching to standards and the emotional and caring role teachers viewed as a major aspect of their daily work. This study provides in depth information abou t each of the three participants; however, the author failed to include several essential strategies for establishing subjectivity or her relationship to participants or th eir school communities. Second, including examples of the questions asked in initial interviews and how responses to those questions were used to shape the second interview would have strengthened the findings. Challenging Student Populations Only one stu dy examined how working with challenging student populations being in their school and classroom (Isenbarger & Zembylas, 2006). Isenbarger and Zembylas examined the role of caring and emotional labor for one teach er in an inclusive classroom over a period of two years. The goal of the study was to explore positive and negative emotional responses intellectual attitudes. The researcher s focused on the relationship between the teacher and one student with a behavior disorder. Data sources included an interactive reflective electronic journal in which teacher and researcher could communicate with each other, student binders of work assig nments and notes, class notes and recordings The data was analyzed using grounded theory. The researchers identified three different kinds of caring that the teacher exhibited: (a) pedagogical caring: cari ng about student academic expectations; (b) cultural caring: caring that communicates norms and
50 culture of the school community; and (c) moral caring: caring about values taught in learning. Over the course of the study, pedagogical caring was evident bec ause the teacher exerted a great deal of effort to manage negative emotional responses because of frequent feelings of failure to meet academic goals for her student, Reed. Cultural caring was demonstrated when the teacher experienced negative emotional r esponses to the ways in which other staff at the school treated Reed in light of his disability and challenging behavior. Finally, despite numerous episodes of negative emotional responses to her work, moral caring was evident because the teacher stated th at she ultimately experienced a positive emotional response to her work overall because she felt that she was engaging in worthwhile work with her students. Although the generalizability of their findings are limited, this is a strong study in terms of the detailed descriptions about characteristics and perspectives of the teacher, the researcher, and the context in which the study took place. A reader could situate findings and implications and apply to them to his or her respective context and stakeholder s. Additionally, it is the only study identified in the literature review that specifically focuses on the issue of teacher emotion in relation to instructing students with disabilities. Overall Limitations of Research on Teacher Emotional Response to The ir Working Conditions represents a limited and somewhat scattered collection of literature. As a whole, the quality of the research reviewed represents methods and purposes that were not always well developed or described. For example, it was often difficult to trace qualitative studies from the theoretical perspective to the research questions, data collection, and
51 data analysis. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in ed ucation research (Koro Ljungberg, Yendol Hoppey, Smith, & Hayes, 2009), and presents obstacles to understanding how researchers arrive at their findings. Second, no findings were disaggregated. Not only does this practice render it difficult to understan d differences and similarities across participants and settings; it also forfeits potentially interesting and important findings in light of different populations and settings. Finally, only one study ions of students that experience significant struggles (Isenbarger & Zembylas, 2006). This is not to say that all of the studies took place in school communities free of this student population; rather these issues were left unacknowledged. Despite thes e limitations, some conclusions can be drawn from the present review. In the following section, I present a summary of findings across the fourteen studies. Summary: Teacher Emotional Response to Their Working Conditions The review of literature in thi s section of the chapter sheds light on the ways in which teachers respond emotionally to the following school and classroom contextual factors: quality and access to social support, quality of ongoing training, and the alignment between school culture and particularly salient barriers or facilitators to how they experience their work (e.g., Bryk et al., 2010; Johnson et al., 2010; Kraft et al., 2012). The studies reviewed in this section have illustrated the transactional relationship between school working conditions and teacher in terms of working conditions plays a profound role in how a teacher
52 emotionally responds to the expectations and challenges that occur each day (Cross & Hong, 2009; Kraft et al., 2012). Based on the research reviewed, it appears that having time at work to foster relatio being (Zembylas & Barker, 2007; Demetriou et al., 2009; Jakhelln, 2011; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011). Additionally, it appears advantageous that school working conditions include allotted time for teachers to work both independently and collaboratively with colleagues and experts to conceptualize and plan for their work, particularly during times of significant change including beginning work at a new school or during reform efforts. It would also seem that wh en teachers are involved in reform efforts, they may benefit from training and ongoing support that they perceive as meaningful and in alignment with their goals as teachers (Darby, 2008; Lee & Yin, 2011; Ross et al., 2012; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). When t eachers are provided with adequate supports to implement reform efforts from both experts and fellow colleagues in their school, they perceive their work as a positive experience characterized by collegiality, feelings of self efficacy, higher degrees of f idelity of implementation, and job satisfaction (Darby; Ross et al.; Zembylas & Barker). When expectations are imposed on teachers, however, about how a reform effort should operate and they do not receive adequate ongoing support and opportunities for bot h collaborative and independent learning, teachers can feel negatively about proposed reforms and choose to only partially implement or not implement in their classrooms. Such situations may be exacerbated if teachers feel that expectations and norms of a school do not align with their own personal beliefs about school
53 teachers may experience negative emotions such as anxiety, confusion, and doubt; and, if these feelings are prolonged, may grow detached from and increasingly dissatisfied with their work. Teachers who chronically perceive their daily teaching tasks and responsibilities as negative may experience burnout and job dissatisfaction (Darby, 2008; Jakhelln, 2011; Kinman et al., 2011; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011; Zembylas & Barker, 2007). serious academic and behavioral challenges. Only one study took place in an inc lusive classroom setting (Isenbarger & Zembylas, 2006). This study showed that teachers are likely to have negative emotional responses to their work when they feel they cannot achieve desired goals for their students with disabilities, and when the ways i n which other staff in the school view disabilities and challenging behavior differs from their own perspective. Research on working conditions in challenging environments suggests that teachers are likely to experience considerable stress and burnout; t hus, the risk for negative affective responses to the environment is great. Clearly, more research is needed that helps scholars and practitioners understand how teachers emotionally respond to their working conditions, particularly for teachers working i n the most challenging environments, such as those working in JC schools. Pursuing research that examines teacher working conditions will provide crucial insight that will enable researchers, policymakers, and school leaders to understand how different typ es of classroom and school settings, as well as different teacher and student populations,
54 teachers with the support, knowledge, tools, and environments they need to not only feel successful and satisfied with their work, but to be effective as well (Darby, 2008; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005; Zembylas & Barker, 2007). Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools Teachers in JC schools operate in severely chall enging working conditions that are characterized by experiences not found in typical public school settings; these working conditions may heighten the risk of emotional exhaustion and burnout for JC teachers. JC teachers work in secure care facilities wit h emotionally volatile populations of students. Additionally, these teachers often lack appropriate training for the types of students they are expected to teach, and are required to work with other juvenile justice personnel who may have different goals f Houchins, & Murphy, 2012; Houchins, Puckett Patterson, Crosby, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2009; Mathur, Clark, & Schoenfeld, 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010). Although teachers in JC schools are likely to experience more challenging working conditions, little is known about how these teachers cope with such experiences. of working conditions in juvenile corrections schools (Houchins, Sh ippen, & Cattret, 2004; Houchins, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2006; Houchins, Puckett Patterson, Crosby, Shippen, & Jolivette, 2009; Houchins, Shippen, McKeand, & Viel Ruma, 2010). These ion teachers who are more satisfied in their working conditions are more likely to remain in their positions. Further, Houchins and his colleagues purported that teachers working in JC schools likely faced many of the same challenges in their working condi tions as special
55 educators. Thus, these studies focused on inquiry related to the issues of job satisfaction, attrition, and retention of this unique teacher population. Participants in these four studies responded to a modified version of the Working in Special Education survey developed by Morvant, Gersten, Gillman, Blake, and Howard (1992). Several modifications were made to adapt the survey to teachers in JC educato security staff in the classroom; and finally, adding questions that addressed juvenile justice reform efforts that had taken place in some states (i.e. Georgia and Louisiana). Th e survey was comprised of six sections: (a) job satisfaction; (b) role satisfaction; (c) teaching experience; (d) participant demographics; (e) initial teaching experience; and (f) career plans. Survey questions were answered using a 5 point Likert scale with 5 being the most positive, 3 being neutral, and 1 being most negative. Houchins and his colleagues (2004) first administered the modified survey to 338 school teachers in JC schools in Georgia to examine factors related to retention and attrition. Pa rticipants included general and special education teachers, 90% of who responded. Survey responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics; a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted to evaluate perceptions of teachers based on facil ity type (youth development campus, regional youth detention center, or other), gender, and number of years teaching. Results from the MANCOVA showed no significant effect for facility type. There was, however, a significant main effect for gender. The ef fect size was moderate. Follow up univariate tests showed significant differences between males and females on: (a) satisfaction with resources; (b) personal
56 experience; and (c) stress. Male teachers reported having less stress and higher job satisfaction ; however, female teachers indicated having a greater amount of positive personal experiences at work. Finally, a significant main effect was identified for up tests showed that teachers with more experience teaching in JC facilities reported higher levels of job satisfaction. Descriptive statistics also revealed some interesting findings about thi s sample of teachers. Nearly 80% were satisfied or very satisfied in th eir job; 75% felt supported by their administration; and 70% learning needs, manage challenging behavior, and motivate students. Although JC teachers in this study appear to be satisfied with the ir jobs, administration, and preparation, they still felt challenged to handle the demands of their job. Sixty percent of the teachers reported experiencing stress on a weekly or daily basis, and 71% said they ude of academic and behavioral needs. In 2006, Houchins and his colleagues published the results of a second survey administered to 151 teachers in JC schools in Georgia. These teachers had been involved in a system wide reform five years earlier. Houchin s and colleagues were interested in understanding their levels of job satisfaction since reform measures had been implemented. This system wide reform occurred in the wake of a class action lawsuit filed by the federal government against the State of Georg ia related to student disciplinary practices, treatment, and confinement conditions. To understand their job satisfaction and variables affecting it, Houchins and his colleagues used the modified version of the Working in Special Education (Morvant et al. ,1992). In this version of the
57 survey, questions were modified to enable participants provide their perceptions of working conditions after reform measures had been implemented (e.g., questions were added about whether their disposition had improved and w hether their working relationships with security staff are better or worse). Survey questions were answered using a 5 point Likert scale with 1 being the most positive, 3 being neutral, and 1 being most negative. Survey responses were analyzed using desc riptive statistics. The overall mean across all survey factors (resource satisfaction, workload satisfaction, preparation satisfaction, role conflicts, role organization, role autonomy, experiences with students, personal experiences, general experiences, experiences with stress, general satisfaction, role support, quantity of feedback, quality of feedback, and role understanding) was 2.50, which suggested an average level of satisfaction with As with the first study, most te achers were satisfied with their work, felt supported by their administrators, and felt prepared for their jobs. Sixty six percent of teachers teacher since reform meas u res were implemented. Nearly 60% of teachers reported they felt more able to collaborate with colleagues and paraprofessionals. Over 70% indicated that they now felt b etter or much better prepared to meet the needs of diverse learners in their classro om. Finally, 77% of teachers reported planning to remain in their reform efforts had helped them to be better prepared to manage classrooms and meet the needs of diverse learners in JC facilities. Additionally, they saw themselves as
58 having more resources in their classrooms, and could see the progress their students were making. Desp ite these positive findings, teacher responses illuminated lingering concerns. For instance, while the majority of teachers responded that student progress had increased or sig nificantly increased, nearly 70% of teachers still believed that less than half of their students were making adequate progress. Almost 50% of teachers reported experiencing greater levels of stress at work due to student behavior, administrative requirements such as paperwork, and a sense of not having enough time to accomplish req uired tasks for work. Finally, nearly a third of all participants stated that the reform measures had negatively affected their personal life. While not a majority, it is concerning that this proportion of participants reported such a reality. Although th e study demonstrates that the reform efforts were able to improve the working conditions and preparation of JC teachers, there are many unanswered questions. First, it is not clear what the reform efforts were and how staff were trained to implement the re form efforts. Further, little is known about how teachers differed in their implementation of the reform and why some teachers responded more favorably to reform measures than others. In 2010, Houchins, Shippen, McKeand, Viel Ruma, Jolivette, and Guarin o surveyed 542 teachers from JC schools across three different states: Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio. JC schools in both Georgia and Louisiana had gone through significant federal government mandated reform measures. The purpose of this study was to ident ify differences in perspectives on job satisfaction, role perception, and quality of experiences based on the following teacher characteristics: (a) working in
59 short vs. long term facilities; (b) gender; (c) being a general vs. special education teacher; and (d) working in Georgia, Louisiana, or Ohio. As in their previous studies, the Education survey. Multivariate Analyses of Variance were conducted (MANOVA; Shavelson, 199 6) to identify any interactions between facility type, gender, teacher type, and state, and the following three factors: job satisfaction, role perception, and quality of Aft er the MANOVA, posthoc independent sample t tests were conducted using the Bonferoni method. Significant differences were identified for facility type, gender, teacher type (general vs. special education), and state (Ohio, Georgia, or Louisiana). Analyses of facility type showed that teachers in long term facilities indicated lower overall satisfaction and job satisfaction than short term facilities, and were more negative in their perceptions of role support, role understanding, and role efficacy. Long t erm facility teachers reported more stress, less desirable experiences with students and more negative overall experiences with the juvenile justice system. Second, analysis of gender yielded significant differences. In contrast with male teachers, femal e teachers reported more negative perceptions of role support and role understanding. Male teachers reported more negative perceptions of their experiences with students. Third, there was one significant difference between general and special educators i n JC settings. General education teachers reported more negative perceptions of overall satisfaction. Finally, when comparing teachers in Georgia, Ohio, and Louisiana, multiple significant differences were identified. JC teachers in Ohio were more negativ e
60 in their perceptions of job satisfaction. They also were least likely to feel efficacious in their roles and to understand their roles in JC school. Additionally, they reported the least positive experiences with students. Overall, teachers from Georgia appeared to respond most favorably; they had significantly lower levels of reported stress and significantly better overall perceptions of role support, role communication, and overall experiences with the juvenile corrections system. It is unclear what th e reform efforts were in Georgia and Louisiana, how staff were trained and supported in reform implementation, how teachers differed in implementing reforms and why some teachers responded more favorably to reform measures than others. The fourth and fi nal study from Houchins and his colleagues (2009) JC teachers in Louisiana schools. These teachers were asked to respond to open ended survey questions about perceived barriers and facilitators at work. Responses from seventy eight teachers were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Nine themes emerged as a result of their analysis. These themes focused on: (a) personnel concerns; (b) academic issues; (c) behavior and discipline; (d) student needs; (e) parental involvement; (f) communication wit hin the JC facility; (g) materials and supplies, (h) funding; and (i) facility quality. Houchins and colleagues (2009) divided personnel concerns into seven subcategories based on teacher responses: (a) school administration: teachers reported that adminis trators did not provide clear communication about job expectations and failed to be supportive; (b) morale: a lack of morale among teachers due to a lack of clear job responsibilities, insufficient training opportunities, and a sense of isolation from othe r teachers; (c) support staff: support staff lacked appropriate knowledge to support
61 diverse student learning needs; (d) paperwork: concerns about insufficient time to complete excessive amounts of paperwork; (e) security personnel: a perception that schoo ls were understaffed in terms of security personnel and current security personnel were underpaid, received insufficient training, and were often a disruption to classroom instruction; (f) contraband: there was often confusion, conflict, and a loss in inst ructional time while determining what objects students were allowed to bring into a classroom; and (g) racism: teachers reported racism towards both African American students and staff. Teachers reported difficulties in helping students reach academic and behavioral goals. Academic issues reported by teachers included excessive class size and a sizeable range of academic needs in one classroom. Teachers also felt they lacked appropriate training for supporting positive student behavior in class and that the school policies for supporting behavior were inconsistent. Teachers indicated that they had inappropriate curriculum and inadequate access to support staff (e.g., mental health counselors). An additional three themes focused on inadequate resources fo r students. Teachers lacked materials and supplies, as their schools were funded insufficiently, and perceived their facilities as having multiple problems. Further, they complained about the lack of age appropriate materials, lack of technology, outdated resources, and overall poor condition of JC facilities. Two themes related specifically to communication issues during educational planning. Teachers were concerned about the lack of parental presence in the educational process during incarceration. They also believed that neither their
62 leadership. Houchins and his colleagues (2009) concluded that teachers in this study identified many of the same barriers and facilitators ide ntified by researchers in the broader general and special education literature on working conditions. However, JC teachers may struggle with barriers more as the intensity of their experiences may be greater than their colleagues in other school environme nts. Further, the stress associated with serving students in JC facilities may be more substantial. Overall Limitations of the Research on Teacher Working Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools The current body of research examined teachers in JC scho ols using mostly survey methodology and as such is somewhat limited in what it can tell us about Houchins and his colleagues (2004; 2006; 2009; 2010) have several limitations. F irst, the surveys were administered during statewide JC school conferences at which attendance and survey participation was required. State level JC personnel were present at survey administration and this may have influenced the ways in which participants answered questions. Second, Houchins et al. speculated that because the survey was lengthy, participants might have become fatigued by the time they reached the open ended questions at the end of the survey. Houchins et al. (2009) did include open ended items, which allowed teachers to describe barriers and facilitators to their work. However, because the open ended portion was at the end of the survey, participants may have been fatigued by the time they reached that particular section, and thus may no t have responded as fully or
63 thoughtfully (i.e. elaborated in detail) about these aspects of their work. Additionally, participants were simply asked to list barriers and facilitators, which likely did not contribute to deeper understandings about how barr iers and facilitators affected their experiences in the workplace. It is likely that to gain personal and in depth methodologies are necessary. Summary: Teacher Wor king Conditions in Juvenile Corrections Schools The survey studies conducted by Houchins and colleagues (Houchins et al., 2004; Houchins et al., 2006; Houchins et al., 2009; Houchins et al., 2010) are the first studies aimed at: (a) understanding how JC te achers perceive their working conditions and (b) determining those factors that result in a decision to stay in or leave their job. Several important findings were gained as a result of these studies. First, while the majority of teachers across studies reported feeling satisfied in their work and having received adequate training in instruction and behavior management, many teachers also reported that they did not believe the majority of their students were making adequate progress, and that some of thei r most significant stressors at work were related to difficulties meeting the academic, behavioral, and social needs of their students. Second, and perhaps most noteworthy, were the substantative differences among teachers in JC schools involved in major reform efforts versus those who were not (Houchins et al., 2010). Teachers from states participating in mandated reform measures reported more positive perceptions about their experiences at work than their peers who were not engaged in reform efforts. M ore research is needed to determine why these reform efforts elicited positive responses from teachers.
64 It is clear based on what research there is that JC school working conditions expose teachers to phenomena that may take a toll on their emotional wel l being. Teachers working in JC schools engage in challenging work in a uniquely challenging school setting (Gagnon et al., 2012; Mathur et al., 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010; Mulcahy & Leone, 2012). Although millions of dollars have been invested in J C school improvement efforts, teachers are still poorly supported in their daily work (Mathur et al., 2009; Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010) and very little research exists that examines these 2004; 2006). Specifically, there is a lack of qualitative research that would enable a first hand understanding of how JC teachers understand and emotionally respond to their experiences at work. As a result, little is known about how to support and imp rove the teaching experience of teachers in JC schools, which ultimately impacts JC teacher recruitment, retention, and effectiveness. Conclusion conditions at school matter. Teachers respond emotionally to the working conditions within their schools and this has an effect on the judgments and choices they make at work (Cross & Hong, 2009). In particular, results of this review indicated teachers appear to respond emotionall y to the following aspects of their working conditions: (a) quality of social support; (b) quality of training and ongoing support; and (c) alignment Little is known abou t how teachers respond emotionally to teaching challenging populations and in diverse school settings. Although JC schools can have supportive working conditions, the nature of student needs is a source of stress for teachers in
65 these schools. The ways in which teachers respond to this challenging aspect of their work may ultimately be detrimental to themselves and their students. Furthermore, what we do know about the personal perspectives of teachers who work in JC schools has been gleaned from surveys w ith predetermined items. Such methodology leaves out potentially important participant perspectives and stories. One way to gain such neglected information is through the inclusion of teacher voice in research findings (Cook, Cook, & Landrum, 2013). To do this, Cook et al. (2013) recommend crafting research studies that convey emotion and utilize storytelling to disseminate research findings. Along this same line of thought, Kreuter et al. (2007) recommended crafting a composite, or collective, story in w stories about a common experience are crafted into one single story to create a more comprehensive picture of an experience. In order to understand how JC teachers understand and emotionally respond to their working conditions, the re is a need to engage in open ended qualitative research. Such research will allow JC teachers to frame and share, as they understand them, their experiences of and emotional responses to, working in this unique and challenging school setting with some o Statement of Problem Teachers in JC schools experience some of the most challenging working conditions. Although a small number of studies exist that examine factors pertaining to teacher job satisfaction and attri tion in JC schools, no studies exist that specifically ask teachers to describe how they emotionally respond to their daily experiences at work. As a result, not enough is known about how JC teachers understand and emotionally respond to their working con ditions, and as a result, we do not understand how to
66 support and improve their teaching experience and increase the chance that they will be effective and committed to remaining in their jobs.
67 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN The purpose of this study was to e xplore how teachers in juvenile corrections (JC) school settings understand their working conditions. The guiding research question was: How do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences in their juvenile corrections school work ing conditions? In this chapter, I present th theoretical perspective , research design, procedures, and participants . I begin with a discussion about hermeneutic s, the theoretical perspective of this study ; i nclud ing a description of the origin s of hermeneutics . I devote hermeneutics and hermeneutic circle process Next, I describe the methodology employed to conduct th research , making note of hermeneutics. Then, I provide detailed descriptions of the teacher participants and their respective JC school contexts , followed by the procedures of data collectio n and analysis. I conclude the chapter by describing my procedures for establishing trustworthiness of my research and findings . Theoretical Perspective The theoretical perspective guiding this study was hermeneutics (Dilthey, 1976) . In this se ction of the chapter, I discuss the origins of hermeneutics and hermeneutic circle.
68 Origins of Hermeneutics Hermeneutics originated in an effort to understand Greek classica l literature and is traditionally associated with identifying the meaning of Biblical scripture. However, hermeneutics has also been applied to the social sciences for interpreting written information and understanding the practices, events, and situation s of groups of people (Crotty, 1998). There have been several schools of thought regarding the purpose of hermeneutics. Heidegger (1962) viewed hermeneutics as an ontology that enables understanding of human e xistence , whereas a later philosopher, Gadamer (1975; 2004) posited that hermeneutical understanding is a complex undertaking that involves a fusion of horizons, or meeting of understandings, bet ween an author and interpreter. While both of these viewpoin ts are integral to hermeneutics, this study was intentionally aligned with an interpretation from Wilhelm Dilthey. Dilthey, recognized as the father of modern hermeneutics in human science inquiry, believed that the understanding, or interpretation, of hu man experience was best understood through a hermeneutic approach, and therefore sought to create a theoretical framework through which to study human experience and existence (Howard, 1982; Tappan, 2001). Acco rding to Dilthey, h uman experience is comprised of three primary components: cognition, emotion, and volition, or , stated more simply, the ways in which one thinks, feels, and acts (Dilthey , 1976; Tappan , 1990; Tappan 2001) . Dilthey ultimate objective w as to find a way to understand (make meaning of; interpret) human experience in order to understand other individuals. However, he believed that lived human experience was a private phenomenon that others cannot see , and that i n order
69 for others to unders tand, or interpret , must first express their experience. Dilthey believed that a n expression was a symbolic insight Such expression s might take a number of forms , including spoken word, an interview transcript, poetry, art, and even music (Tappan, 2001). Language is considered to be the primary means of access into underst anding how people understand their experiences (Dilthey, 1910; 1977). The ways in which people understand their experiences is not something that can simply be viewed by an external party. To gain an insight into this information, data must be collected by first person or self report accounts from the individual themselves ( Dilthey, 1910; 1977; Polkinghorne ; Tappan, 2001 ) . Dilthey grasped that g of t heir lived experience is a complex endeavor . Because of this, he believed the best way to accomplish such understanding was to begin with a fixed textual expression of the lived experience that can be interpreted, such as a transcribed interview text. He asserted that t could not be bracketed from the interpretation process because it shapes how he or she comes to understand the experience of the individual being interpreted. In order to f ully comprehend the parts , Dilthey posited that the interpreter must first examine the lived experience before interpreting its individual part s, accomplished when t he interpreter enters into what is known as a hermeneutic circle. The circle could be compared to
70 perspective and then honing in on individual aspects of the experience. Having examined the experience as a whol e and then as individual aspects, the interpreter returns once again to the whole a new , deeper level of understanding of the experience (Tappan, 2001) . The recursive n ature of hermeneutics, and that it is well In this study, I focused on JC s of their personal histories and experiences working in JC sch ools. The primary underlying assumption of this study was that I as an outside researcher, not involved in their daily lives, understand their experience. However, because I was involved throughout the research process m y understanding of experience, and was thus key to the findings. When I first met with each teacher participant , we shared our personal understanding s of our experiences in JC schools. I n doing so we create d important initial connections with each other (Atkinson, 1998) , and yet new level s of understanding occur red as a result of every subsequent conversation. T hus, my understan ding of experience of working in a JC school was in a constant state of evolution . Sample Selection During the recruitment and selection process, it was imperative that I select participants who were (a) currently teaching in JC school setti ngs and (b) willing to
71 participate in interview s about their experiences, which they were likely to consider highly personal and potentially sensitive in nature. These goals led me to identify participants through two methods: convenience sampling and sno wballing. In this section, I will describe how I recruited each of my five teacher participants. In the following section, I describe each of my participants in more detail. All participants were assigned pseudonyms. Convenience Sampling Due to the hi ghly confidential and secure nature of JC facilities, gaining access to staff and students poses difficult challenges for outside researchers. As a result, my initial attempt to gain access to potential participants was through convenience sampling via my professional contacts; two out of five teacher participants in my study were recruited via convenience sampling. A convenience sample is appropriate in this case, because prior relationships facilitate the trust necessary to conduct meaningful interviews . Snowball Sampling Next, to increase the participant pool, I engaged in snowball sampling, asking my two initial participants to identify other potential participants whom they believed would be willing to participate in the study ( Brantlinger et al., 2 005). Snowball sampling allowed me to recruit three additional teacher participants. Study Participants and Contexts Sharon Sharon is an African American woman in her late 30s. She has worked with children in a variety of teaching and social services related roles for the past thirteen years. For the past five years, she has been a teacher and Special Education
72 coordinator in a JC school in the Southeastern United States with the capacity to enroll approximately 48 male and female youths rang ing in ag e from 8 to 19 years . Prior to her career in JC, s he served as a case worker primarily assisting in the adoption process for seven years and was an elementary school teacher for one year. Ron Ron is an African American male in his early 40s. He has work ed as a JC school teacher for approximately 5 years in the Southeastern United States. Prior to his career as a teacher, Ron worked in a variety of different occupations including college athletics, car sales, and real estate. Ron's JC facility serves ap proximately 120 male juveniles for an average of six to nine months. Marie Marie is a w hite woman in her mid 40s. She has served as a teacher in the same JC facility in the Southwestern United States for nearly ten years. She has only worked in J C schools. For the past five years she has assumed the Lead Teacher role. Her facility serves male and female juveniles primarily aged 12 18 years of age and has an average enrollment of approximately 50 60 youths at any given time. The majority of stud ents are committed on average for two months but some may stay as long as nine to ten months. Marie is certified in General and Special Education in grades K 12 and recently also completed requirements for her School Administrator license. Linda Linda is a white woman in her late 40s. She is the most veteran teacher participant in the study, having been a certified Special Education teacher for nearly thirty years. For the past three years, she has worked in the JC school setting. Prior to her caree r in JC schools, Linda worked as a Special Education teacher primarily in self -
73 contained classrooms for students with EBD. a JC school for youths ranging in age from 8 to 17 years of age in the Southwestern United States . It is a small facility that can house approximately 30 youths at one time. A pproximately 80% of students require Spec ial Education services and the majority of students are in middle school. Stays usually last no longer than one month. Paul Paul is a white man in his mid 40s. He has worked alongside Linda in the same JC school for five years. Prior to this work, Paul worked in several other alternative schools in addition to being a medic for the Army and working in a variety of construction jobs. He is a certif ied Science teacher. Data Collection working in JC schools , I collected career timelines and conducted three in depth semi structured interviews with each participant. In th is section , I provide details about each aspect of data collection. Career Timeline s I requested that each teacher participant create a career timeline prior to our first interview session . This exercise resulted in an artifact that help ed my participan ts begin to think about their career life story and their own preunderstanding of their experiences in JC schools . In depth Semi s tructured Interviews My primary means of collecting data was through participant interviews. I conducted three in depth se mi structured interviews with each of the five teacher participants . Seidman (1991) recommends conducting three interviews for the following
74 reasons: (a) d uring the first interview, the participant and researcher are able to begin t he process of build ing a rapport and the participant gains an idea of the lay of the land that the researcher hopes to cover ; (b) t he researcher and participant can begin to cover initial exploration of the topic in the first interview ; (c) b etween the first and second interview , a participant has time to think and reflect upon the initial interview conversation thus paving the way for the second interview ; (d) t he participant may enter the second interview and engage in a more in depth and focused conversation of the phenomenon ; and (e) a fter the second interview and before the third, the researcher can review transcripts and develop any necessary follow up questions. The first two interviews occurred within the span of a month , whereas the third interview occurred after prelimin ary data analysis since one of its purposes was to serve as a member checking process. During the third interview, I was able to ask clarifying or additional questions and my participant s had the opportunity to contribute any additional information they wa nted to provide (Seidman, 1991). All interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Due to the nature of the study, I began each interview with the broad opening question and from there allow ed participant s to direct the topics of conversation in the remainder of the interview. Reismann (1993) recommends that interview guides be comprised of broad questions and be supplemented by probe questions in the event that a participant experiences dif ficulty in responding to questions. Examples of probe questions and , ,
75 __________ I asked o pen opposed to "When did X happen to stimulate narrative storytelling. Researcher Preunderstanding Prior to interviewing participants, I crafted my subjectivity statement, which is included later in this chapter. This statement was a necessary step in my research process prior to beg inning interviews as it served as documentation and reflection of my own preunderstanding and personal history with juvenile corrections schools and other exclusionary school settings . Interview One The purpose of the first interview was enter into the he rmeneutical circle with my participant and gain an understanding from them broadly about their full career life story ch teacher began to tell me the story of their life in JC schools. Interview Two The second interview . Before the second interview, the participant had time to reflect further on the topics di scussed in interview one, and was therefore likely to be more comfortable and prepared to provide more in depth reflections . In line with the hermeneutical circle, we as researcher and participant were able to focus more closely on specific aspects of the whole of the story. Specifically, I asked the teachers to recount memories of significant high and low moments at work that moved and changed them. Additionally, as a means of eliciting further details about their experiences, we spoke about daily routin es and interactions at work.
76 Interview T hree Finally, during the third interview, we as researcher and participant return ed to the whole of the story after paying close attention to various components and details of their story. T he third interview also serve d as a final member check . . 314) ; therefore, prior to and d uring the third interview, I share d transcript data, interpretations, and tentative analysis of the e final member check wa s to ensure that I did not misrep resent their ideas and that I crafted a credible portrait of them from their perspective (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Our d iscussion center ed on clarification of the emerging representation of their accounts (see Appendix B) , with iven what we have discussed over the course of our interviews and reviewing the tentative analysis, how do you understand your Data Analysis: The Listening Guide The interview data colle L istening G uide methodology (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan et al., 2003) , which posits that each person is comprised of multiple voices, and that we must listen for these various voices in order to unders tand the whole of that person and their experiences . I selected The Listening Guide required that I assume the role of listener and engage in multiple listenings of my teache transcript s. These listenings helped me tune into the multiplicity of voices within each teacher participant s . Listening is different than
77 other more traditional methods of coding , because as part of the process of listening, my voice as the listener is also brought into the analysis . However, there is a clear definition of who is playing the role of listener and who is speaking (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan et al., 2003) . eneutics I selected the Listening Guide for my data analysis because it is well aligned with this section, I explain the four steps of the Listening Guide analysis pro cess and the Step One: The P lot As previously explained in this chapter, the hermeneutic circle begins by step of the Listening Guide (listening to the plot) directs the outsider to listen for the big ideas plot , the researcher, or listener , identifies the characters and landscapes of the entire story : w hat are the major themes? What is expressed and what is not? As part of this step, the listener responds to the plot ; the listener has an opportunity to outline their feelings and respond to what they initially hear in the e responding in this manner and how that is likely to impact their understanding of the speaker (Gilligan et al., 2003). the various components that comprise the whole of a pe steps two and three of The Listening Guide: crafting I poems and listening for contrapuntal voices.
78 Step Two: I Poems The second step , crafting I poems, is speaking. When sea first selects a portion of the transcript and underlines or selects every first , along with the corresponding verb and any other words around it that are significant to the listen the same sequence in which they appeared in the transcript. Each phrase becomes its own separate line of the I poem. By creating an I poem, the listener is able to isola te in the story (Gilligan et al. , 2003 ). The I Poem may capture concepts about a person that they do not explicitly communicate (Woodcock, 2005). Step Three: Contrapu ntal Voices The third step is listening for contrapuntal voices. In the Listening Guide, contrapuntal voices refer to the multiple voices of the teller. The term contrapuntal comes from music and refers to two or more melodic lines that are played and mo ve together in song (Gilligan et al., 2003). Th e voices may be in opposition or harmony with subsequent voices . The se voices include, for example, Voice of Dissonance and Voice of Surrender. They focus closely on interviews. Identification of voices is accomplished through separate r eading s to allow the listener to specifically attend to each additional voice. Certain lines in the transcript may represent multiple voices.
79 Step Four: Returning to the Whole/Synthesis fter attending to its various parts, t he fourth and final step of the Listening Guide is to return three steps of the Listening Guide. The entire process allows th e listener to arrive a new level of understanding. My guiding question during the synthesis process was : What have you come to know as a result of this process? I reflected once more on the guiding research question: h ow do teachers understand (make mean ing of; interpret) their experiences in their juvenile corrections school working conditions? Researcher Subjectivity: Expression of My Lived Experience Because of the nature of qualitative research , my subjectivity , or expression of my lived experience, is integral to the findings of my research, and should therefore be explicitly identified in this section (Brantlinger et al., 2005; McWilliam, 2000; Stiles, 1999 ; Tappan, 2001 ). The process of examining subjectivity allow s the researcher to identi fy the potential benefits and disadvantages that their experiences and beliefs potentially brings to a study, as it is not possible to separate subjectivities from research . In this study, t his process meant examining my goals, experiences, assumptions, feelings, and history as they relate d to the experience of teaching in JC school working conditions . I have worked as an intern, Special Education teacher, and researcher in exclusionary school settings for over ten y ears in London, New York City, and North Central Florida. I have worked in alternative schools, psychiatric hospital schools, and JC schools. The work I have done in these schools is characterized by intense emotional highs and lows, but the accomplishme nts, even when few and far between,
80 are incredibly rewarding. W ithin the spectrum of Special Education students, those students with disabilities in exclusionary school settings are particularly special to me because they have potential to become independ ent and contributing adult members of society when they are provided with effective education and supports. I also realize that without these supports, these students can become some of the most dangerous, dependent, and costly adult members of society. A s someone who has spent many years working in these school settings as a teacher and researcher, I believe the challenges that face this group of teachers are plentiful and complex, and that this cocktail of challenges very often results in negative emot ions, burnout, and attrition . These beliefs are influenced primarily by my experiences as a teacher in New York City. I began teaching there after graduating from college and undergoing only six weeks of boot camp style training for how to be a teacher . T his fast track training lacked many of the support s and strategies I needed to be able to work with one of the most challenging populations of students in the entire New York City Department of Education. My first full time teaching position began wh en I accepted a position working in a school comprised entirely of students aged 14 21, with individualized education plans, and categorized as having emotional and behavioral disorders which often co existed with severe learning disabilities. It was a na tural choice for me after spending much of my time in college working as an intern in alternative and hospital school settings with students with emotional and behavioral disorders. The students in my new school in New York were often involved in gangs, ma ny of the female students supported themselves and their families through prostitution, and
81 many students were victims of violent and sexual crimes. In addition, this was a highly mobile population; at any given time, approximately 30% of my students were likely to be living in shelters, and many more students lived in group homes or were being raised by foster parents. The school was known to have a revolving door relationship with the juvenile corrections facilities and psychiatric hospital units in and around New York City, so the class roster changed on a daily basis. Often I would receive new students who were released from the hospital or incarceration, and lose students who were discharged because they were heading back to institutionalization. I t was this job that led me, for one of the first times , to think about the lives of students, and their teachers, inside JC schools. Students would arrive at my classroom door, right after being discharged from incarceration and they would be angry and di senchanted about the school process before even giving my classroom a shot. It led me to wonder what it was like inside a JC classroom. I knew that I had zero communication with the educational staff there, which was problematic since so many of our stud ents were traveling back and forth between our schools . I wondered how isolated, exhausted, and jaded they felt each day at work. I think I largely wondered about this because it was how I was feeling too. The Young Bloods was the name that students an d veteran staff had started to call me and the four other first year teachers who had joined the staff that year. We were the first new teachers in the school in over a decade. We worked on the top floor of the school together. It was a blessing and a c hallenge to be secluded up there . Most of the school leadership never walked past the first floor of the school , so we were essentially left alone. If district leadership visited our school , they observed classrooms
82 on the lower floors to avoid climbing the stairs. You had to climb up five flights of steep stairs, with chain link fences lining the walls to prevent someone from jumping or being pushed over the railing to their death, to ma k e it to the fifth floor, or the Young Bloods floor . On days wh en I felt overwhelmed and depressed about my capabilities, my teaching quality diminished tremendously. Without fail, my students responded to this energy and their engagement in classroom activities diminished as well; t hey would withdr a w from classroom work and their behavior in the classroom quickly escalate into chaos , honest, on the ins ide, I agreed with them. I did not feel like a real teacher and often questioned why I was continuing to go to work. I did not have textbooks or even a single computer in my classroom. Additionally, I did not have photocopier access so I used to travel t o a copy shop several blocks down the road before school or during my preparation periods so I could make copies of homemade instructional materials. Sometimes, I used to spend the last of my paycheck on photocopies, just hoping I had enough materials to k , was trying to educate highly vulnerable, living, breathing students. I have a very strong memory of cal ling my mother during one of the first few months in my new job. My class was self contained, meaning they stayed with me all day and I taught them all subjects. However, they were escorted to gym class during second period. I remember calling my mother as soon as they left the room and cried
83 from gym. I dreaded seeing my par aprofessional when she arrived back. She was a thirty year veteran of the school. Each day, I felt like she was waiting to see me fail and leave the school. She was not afraid to disregard my authority. She was often quite vocal about disagreeing with my instructional plans and would blatantly challenge or ignore my classroom management efforts with students, giving them alternative directions from mine. I had absolutely no idea how I could survive through the next instructional period, let alone the e ntire day. To get by, I used to engage in a fantasy each day. I would tell myself that I was going to quit at the end of the week. Everything would be okay because I was leaving soon. The worst day of my teaching career was during my first year, two da ys before Christmas vacation. As I walked to the subway, I reached into my bag to retrieve my Metro Card so I could enter the station. I quickly realized my wallet was missing from my bag. I ran back to the school to search, but could not find my wallet anywhere. It quickly became apparent that my wallet had been stolen during the school day. One of my students had robbed me. I was robbed of a small amount of cash, my ATM and y shards of hope or optimism that remained in my soul. I had been working so hard to try to give my students a chance, and they had literally robbed me. One of the strongest supports that helped me to survive and begin to thriv e was the social support o f my colleagues, the Young Bloods. We became mentors, friends, and family to one another. At the end of each day, the Young Bloods would collapse
84 together in that fifth floor hallway, and recount the triumphs and disasters of the day. Without even realiz ing it, we were forming excellent teaching practices. We spent our stealing ideas from each other for future lessons. Each of our classrooms had a nickname, and it reflected who we were becoming as teachers. For example, my colleague across the hall from me taught in the room that love. He had high academic expectations and strict expectations f or behavior. My room room, because they knew exactly what would happen. I was always gentle but firm, and the students knew that I cared about them. We engaged in a lot o structure. Even the toughest of students could come to my room and let down their guard. I received training in the Wilson method, a curriculum to assist students struggling with decoding and fluency, and became the Wilson teacher . I had gained tools I needed to work with teenagers who were sometimes still struggling to learn the alphabet. I began to love my job. What prompted me to leave the c lassroom had almost nothing to do directly with my students. I left because I struggled with the lack of support I received in training and from my administration. Additionally, beyond the cocoon of the Young Bloods, I worked alongside colleagues that ha d long since retired mentally and emotionally, despite their daily physical presence inside the school building. The culture beyond my classroom was predominantly one of worksheets and coloring activities. Walking past other
85 classrooms, it was not uncomm on to see a teacher and paraprofessional sitting at their desks in the back of the room, drinking their coffee, and their noses buried in the newspaper while students did whatever they pleased. As a result, students and even some of the paraprofessionals challenged me. They were perhaps understandably confused, and sometimes quite frustrated and angry, by the stark difference in expectations in my classroom. These were more moments that only reinforced my During the final two years of my time at that school, we welcomed a new principal that I will forever describe as one of my worst bosses. I hope I never have a boss as bad as him again. Upon his arrival at our school, he explicitly let us know that he was there to earn his final years in the system before retirement. He did not have the interests of staff or students in mind when it came to his leadership. Many policies he put in place did not seem to work for my students or the staff . In som e ways, no matter what I did, my students were set up to fail because of policies beyond my power as a classroom teacher. Realizing this, I knew that I had to explore leadership roles in which I could play a role in changing and improving such policies. As a result of the compelling nature of my experiences working as a teacher and researcher in alternative, hospital, and juvenile corrections schools, my goal for the proposed study is to understand how teachers understand their own experiences working in juvenile corrections schools. There is a lack of research about the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, skills, and emotional well being of individual teachers in exc lusionary school settings. Thus it i s imperative that I engage in resea rch through which I can explore how teachers in exclusionary school settings understand and
86 emotionally respond to their working conditions and how these responses may influence their commitment to teaching students in these facilities. In understanding the contextual issue s, including barriers and facilitators, that characterize th everyday work experiences, I c an begin to identify the ways to support teachers in these settings so that they may survive and thrive in their positions , and ultimately provide the b est support to their students. Establishing Trustworthiness Throughout each stage of the study, I made a conscious effort to be transparent in my research process ( Lincoln & Guba, 1985 ). Since recommended practices for qualitative researchers include ad dress ing how credibility and trustworthiness are established (Brantlinger et al, 2005) , I engaged in several efforts to enhance the quality and rigor of my research. First, I created an audit trail by maintaining detailed notes and organization in such a way that another researcher could follow and duplicate the steps taken in my data collection and analysis processes. Second , I engage d in first and second level member checking with my participants by sharing my initial transcripts, findings, and final Li stening Guides with them to verify that I represented them fairly. , the narratives were written with a continuous inclusion of a variety of formats of direct quote presentation of my part . Finally , I maintain ed a reflective journal throughout the study to record my personal biases and reflections . Study Limitations Th is study had several limitations. First, the participants did not craf t the ir Listening Guide narrative s independently ; a s the researcher , I play ed the primary role in the construction of the final narrative (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan et al., 2003 ;
87 Lewis, 2008). Second, the study was limited to the experiences reported by the specific teachers that o pted to participate in my study . It could be the case that if more and/or different participants were included, the findings could have been different; for instance, other themes or different aspects of themes could have emerge d based on the inclusion of more and/or different participants. Finally , the small sample size and qualitative nature limit the generalizability of these findings. Protection of Human Participants Beha vioral/Non medical Institutional Review Board. I communicated the purpose of the research in addition to the potential risks and benefits of participation to the participants verbally and in writing prior to obtaining their verbal and written consent to p articipate in the study. Each participant was informed of the voluntary nature of the study and that they could end an interview or withdraw from the study at any time. (See Appendix A for the letter of invitation and consent form .) Presentation of Findi ngs Included in this dissertation are well documented and comprehensive individual Listening Guides for each of my five teacher participants. These findings are presented in Chapter 4. Interview excerpts are used frequently to illuminate and honor the vo ice of each teacher participant and ensure that they are heard.
88 CHAPTER 4 TEACHER LISTENING GUIDES The purpose of this study was to gain in depth knowledge of how teachers understand their experiences within (1976) perspective of hermeneutical understanding as a guiding framework for my research . Through interviews, I explored how teachers understand and emotionally respond to their working conditi ons and how these responses may influence their commitment to teaching in these facilities. The primary research question was : How do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the ir juvenile corrections school working conditions ? This chapter present s emotional responses to their working conditions in JC schools. Each of the five interview data is presented separately. Overview of Listening Guide A nalysis method of analysis (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan, et al., 2003). The Listening Guide is comprised of multiple listenings of interview transcripts for each participa nt . These listenings tune the reader into the multiplicity of voices of the participant. The Listening Guide data analysis process differs from traditional methods of coding. The voice of the researcher is brought into the analysis, allowing for a clear definition of who is playing the role of listener and who is speaking. The Listening Guide has four steps. The first step is listening for the plot. The researcher, or listener , identifies the characters and landscapes of the story , including major the mes and what is expressed versus what is not expressed. In this step, the
89 subjectivities , explicitly outline their own feelings , and respon d to what is being said in he or she is reflecting in this manner and how that impacts his or her understanding of the speaker (Gilligan et al., 2003). se person seem significant d kept in the same sequence in which they appeared in the transcript. Each phrase becomes its own separate line of the I poem. By creating an I poem, the listener is able to isolate therwise get lost in the story (Gilligan et al.). The I Poem may capture concepts about a person that they do not explicitly communicate (Woodcock, 2005). The third step of the Listening Guide is listening for contrapuntal voices. The term contrapuntal co mes from music and refers to two or more melodic lines that move together in song (Gilligan et al., 2003). In the Listening Guide, contrapuntal voices refer to the multiple voices of the speaker . These voices may be in opposition to or in harmony with ea ch other. Once the listener has identified the contrapuntal voices in the story, a separate reading or listening is conducted to attend to each voice . The listener then underline s each contrapuntal voice in a separate color. Certain lines may be underline d several times and represent different voices.
90 The fourth and final step of the Listening Guide is the composi tion of an analysis. After I extracted multiple voices from the transcript, reflected on the speaker, and crafted I Poems, I synthesized the inf ormation collected. My guiding question during the synthesis process is: What have I come to know as a result of this repeated process and what evidence supports my understandings ? Sharon: The Lifelong Learner Step One: The Plot Sharon has been a hard worker for as long as she can remember. Within moments of beginning our first interview, she told me, My parents always told me to work hard. I like to work. I love to work. It always made me feel more accomplished. I worked at McDonalds, I worked at a Greek restaurant, more fast food, Ruby Tuesdays. I always had some kind of job for as long as I can remember. Sharon was born into a family of hard workers that has assumed careers in a variety of roles across K 12 schools and institutions of higher education. Not surprisingly, she place d a high value on the power of learning and education, and ha d trouble comprehending others who d id people I have trouble empathizing with. They have difficult lives but i gnored their d fond memories of working hard, even as a child, and concerns I remember in third grade, my teacher used to line us up and we did the states and their capital s for hours it seemed. We knew their locations. We could fill them in on blank maps. We knew the capitals. Now it seems know stuff like that, and a lot of the kids say when you question them, counting on their fingers. They want to use a calculator. But then they
91 multiplication tables. Her passion for education led her to see a teaching career as her destiny. Being a teacher and working in schools i s kind of my destiny. In my household education was super important. There was no option but to go college. Both of my parents are retired guidance counselors. And my grandmother used to run the cafeteria and my grandfather was the assistant principal. M he was the assistant president over graduate studies at a college. Yeah and my other uncle was a librarian. One of my aunts taught Spanish. It iny. Sharon began her career in education thirteen years ago as an elementary school teacher with a license in Special Education. She held that job for two years, but soon found herself yearning to help students in a more comprehensive manner. Sharon di d not believe she could do this in her role as a public school teacher . She wanted a career that could accomplish change on broader scale, much like what she perceived her parents, who were guidance counselors, as doing. Thus, she left her teaching positio n for a job as a caseworker. She described how being a caseworker was pivotal in changing her perspective on student behavior. Being a caseworker was probably the best job in opening my eyes for teaching because there were a lot of kids who I thought were lazy, or just disrespectful or whatever. As a caseworker, I realized many of those kids were neglected. After seven years in casework, she made the decision to return to teaching. Casework was emotionally taxing with poor compensation. She decided th at what she position in a JC school unintentionally. I kind of fell into the DJJ (Department of Juvenile Justice). I went to the school board, and was just looking at the tea cher job postings. The
92 For the past five years, Sharon worked in a JC facility in the southeastern United States. The facility ha d the capacity to hold approximately 70 male and female youths aged 9 to 19 from across the state. The education staff consisted of a principal, four teachers, and a teacher length of stay was twenty one days with the minimum length being one day and typically not lasting longer tha n a month. There were two classrooms in the facility. Male students were grouped for instruction based on age. There was one class for males aged 9 15 and another for those aged 16 18. All of the female students, ranging in age from 9 18, received inst ruction in Sharon soon learned that her passion for teaching would be challenged on a daily basis due to unmet expectations. Nothing about the JC facility was wha t she thought it would be not the students nor the training and support provided . When reflecting on her first days in JC, she said about her students: drug dealers, that kind of th like the normal crime. We have a guy who did attempted murder and you know, home invasions, robbery, prostitution. So just putting yourself in that yourself in Another challenge that Sharon described in her work was the transient nature of the JC student population. The composition and climate of her classroom changed on a daily basis with new student admits and discharges, and these changes often felt like they were for the worst.
93 rowdy bunch all stemming from like one or two kids per classroom. That is all it takes to wreck your whole classroom a nd your morale. Although the population was transient , the recidivism rate was so high that she frequently saw the same students time and time again: population is transient because the y go in, they go out for two weeks, they revolving door. Sometimes it just feels like they were out for a week sick and then they come back. Student challenges were not the only surprise that the JC facility had in store for quality services to students and its lack of commitment to supporting her as a professional. She found it difficult to translate pr ofessional learning opportunities into effective practice with so few appropriate curricular materials and support for implementing effective instruction. When I started this job in JC, I was really trying to figure out what to teach, how do you teach it , at what level do you teach it, at what pace do you teach it, because it was kind of like trying to find your footing. When you teach at a traditional school, like the regular school I went to as a kid , here's your textbook, all your books you need, your erasers, all your materials. JC is kind of like a throw away. You pull a lot of resources out of your butt. Sharon felt immersed in a culture with low standards that sought out shortcuts, and did not make high quality education a priority. For example, th e norm for academic work is to pass out packets of worksheets to students. Sharon explained that teachers out identical 6 th grade level packets of worksheets during class time. She admitted that over time she learned
94 ry to do instructionally in the classroom. It was evident in each of our meetings that Sharon was becoming increasingly disillusioned with her work and often dreamed about searching for other work. She was the only one of my participants to request four i nterviews. Nearly two months after our third interview, she called me and asked to meet one final time. During this final meeting, she told me that she had ultimately decided to quit her job at the JC school, and to leave the teaching profession altogethe r. Although she remained committed to working with at risk and challenging st udents , she decided to refocus her efforts and accepted a position with the Division of Children and Families as a Contract Monitor . She said that the decision to leave teaching was life changing and she had never felt happier than after leaving that job. My response to the plot personal teaching experiences . Similar to Sharon, I grew up having a real passi on for learning and school and was raised by a family that emphasized education as essential to my independence. The characters Sharon spoke about most were her family and her students. The values and experiences provided by her family set Sharon up to be lieve that education and learning were positive and favorable experiences. The fact that her experiences at work in a JC school stood in such complete contrast to those values and experiences both motivated and perturbed her as she tried to work with them each day. I could not help but notice were at odds with how she perceived the reality of her work. This reminded me very much of my own experiences as a teacher in exclusionary schools settings. A comm on
95 topic of discussion posited by myself, my colleagues and even the students at the school was that we felt perceived her reality at work was something that hit close to home for me when I reflect on the difficult aspects of my own teaching career, so I am eager to examine this in further depth. Attending to the parts of the w hole In this section, I attend to accomplish this through steps two and three of the Listening Guide. Step two is comprised of four I poems. Step three addresses the contrapuntal voices that I interviews. These voices include: Voice of Lifelong Learner, Voice of Dissonance, and Voice of Surrender. Step Two: I P oems transcripts. Each poem is followed by a response describing what I gleaned about I poem one: Uncomfortable, part one It takes a long while to feel adjusted. But I still feel uncomfortable I have to knock on the door. I feel uncomfortable I have to use keys to get out. I feel uncomfortable I get locked into a room and I have to wait for someone to buzz me in from this door to this door. It's not comfortable for me. This I poem highlight ed how the action of simply entering and getti ng around the building was difficult, with constant reminders that the school environment Sharon
96 work ed in unsettle d her. She felt a certain uneasiness that had not subsided even after five years at the JC school. For her, the JC setting was a prison one i n which she was trapped. I poem two: Uncomfortable, part two You students are sitting in my classroom here like it's not uncomfortable for me, Obviously you're comfortable. And I do understand for some of you students this is a better place than home. Y ou do get three meals and it's very predictable. Nobody's going to beat you up hopefully. You know you're going to have food. You know you have a place to sleep that night. But I still feel uncomfortable. I crafted this second poem because Sharon cont inued to speak about the aspects of being uncomfortable as a teacher in a JC school. The poem highlight ed the stark contrast that exist ed between Sharon and her students. Although Sharon has been uncomfortable since the day she arrived, she acknowledge d th at the students found the predictability and resources of the environment to be a source of comfort. predictable daily schedule serve d to create a safe haven for students who se lives outside JC were chaotic. I poem three: What I want/w hen I stop I tell you guys to stay in school rd graders can spell. I always try to push the envelope and make them think and think and think. I treat you the same way I treat my own children. I say to you things I say to m y own children. I treat you the same way I treat my own children When I stop talking to you
97 This poem capture d taught . It showcased how difficult it was for Sharon to empathize w apathy when she herself was so motivated to excel in her work . The final lines of this d the breaking point Sharon was nearing in her work during our inte rviews . The more Sharon felt that her students could not be motivated to put forth effort in learning academics, the more she lost enthusiasm for working hard to serve them. I poem four: You and them (a teacher and her students) nto the kids They will do the work They will start learning Then But then bewildered They commit another crime They come back a couple months later You have to start all over from scratch In this poem, I was struck not by a first of herself as you and her students as they. This poem showcase d the frustration Sharon felt, as she could not see progress with her students. Even when she worked hard to get them on the right track and could rejoice in their success, the recidivism rates of her students and the ground they lost while they were gone made Sharon feel as if her hard work was for naught.
98 Step Three : Contrapunta l Voices Voice of l ifelong learner In listening to Sharon, the first voice I heard was the Voice of Lifelong Learner. Throughout the course of our interv iews, I was struck by the ideas Sharon always returned to: (a) education is a right that gives you freedom; (b) once education is earned, it cannot be taken away; and (c) education and hard work go hand in hand. In our first interview, Sharon made her lov e of learning clear: I love to learn. I wanna learn everything about everything. I love learning and will always go to workshops and trainings. If there's an online training I will be the first to take that just because I like to know what's going on. I try to go to trainings and workshops because I want to stay up on the new practices. Sharon repeatedly attributed her passion for learning to the values her parents , educators themselves, instilled in her as a child . Her upbringing largely defined how S haron view ed herself as a professional and as a person: As an educator, and someone whose parents were educators, you do write Sharon viewed herself so differently from her students and continually talked about how she had trouble understanding why her students would disregard education in the ways they did. To her, education was a gateway to freedom, and she felt conflicted between he r view of herself as a student and her views of her students. As a lifelong learner and compliant student, she could not understand their lack of interest in school and lack of respect for authority. Voice of dissonance In listening to Sharon, the second v oice I heard was the Voice of Dissonance. Sharon prominently frame d herself in the voice I identified as Lifelong Learner. As I
99 listened to the Voice of Lifelong Learner, however, I kept hearing Sharon talk about the pain and frustration she experienced i n her work at the JC school. There was a deep sense of dissonance between the way Sharon view ed herself as a person and professional, and the way she view ed her students and felt about herself while on the job . She felt desperately alone as a result of t his dissonance. As I listened to the Voice of Dissonance during our interviews, I identified multiple layers of dissonance that stood in opposition with her passion for the importance of lifelong learning: (a) dissonance with students ; (b) the school ; (c) the facility ; and ultimately, (d) within herself. Dissonance with students . Over the course of our interviews, the people that Sharon spoke about most were her students. Her students came from backgrounds quite different from her own. Before they come to us, they either went to an alternative school already, The attitudes she saw in her students were at direct odds with the values she held for education and how she remembered herself as a student. My biggest problem is the lack of respect and the laziness. Those two things drive me up the wall. Those things jus t drive me bonkers. They going When she spoke about her frustration with her st udents, it was the first time I also heard her speak about her struggle to remain enthusiastic about her work, and to remain committed to her employment as a teacher in the JC school.
100 it... My students would question why they even need to bother to do the work teaching or my job path, like really deeply question it. Dissonance with the school . While Sharon spoke most prominently about her students, she also perceived many barriers to adequately serving her students. The things that Sharon believed were necessary in order to be a successful educator were not the things she had access to in her school. She struggled to remain positive about her work as she made it apparent that there was an absence of appropriate materials and training available to her as a teacher. As we talked about these barriers over the course of our interviews, I could see that her view of her abi lity to be a successful professional was severely compromised. I feel frustrated. for something more. Most JC schools get what I want to call second hand may get volume two or volume paren do much in terms of lesson plans. I mean, you have them, but the lesson are so much more detailed and hav e so much more accountability attached to them. You have to submit them to your assistant principal, and be more fulfilled. Sharon often pondered the differences between the experiences of teachers in her perspective, staying motivated at work was difficult given the lower quality sta ff and lack of respect and support that she perceive d JC teachers as having in comparison to
101 Sometimes I think I get apathetic as a teacher. My skills are often dulled here. . . .I would love to feel refreshed and energize d or re energized opportunity and motivation to implement whatever they learn in their classroom. Sharon did not speak much about school leadership, other than to allude to the fact that the school leadership was inadequate. For example, there was little to no guidance in selecting appropriate professional development training. We have to go to trainings but ther e is no guidance for what trainings exactly I should be taking. At other schools, the administration will tell you, as a Special Education teacher please take these specific trainings. I get none of that. Most of her professional development did not allo w her to improve the skills she needed to work with JC students. I did a Read 180 training and I was so disappointed at the end of the training that I couldn't actually implement it in my classroom. Another time, I was in a reading training. You sometim es struggle on some of the questions they ask you like, how will you implement this in your my classroom. As the lifelong learner, Sharon loved to attend trainings, but when she ret urned to school, she felt frustrated by her repeated unsuccessful attempts to translate these new practices into reality. She recommended several times over the course of our interviews that it would be helpful to go to trainings that were designed specif ically with JC school teachers in mind. A lot of times you'll go away after a training and you take what you learn back to your school and your kids and the other staff kind of like, they take it down. So yeah, I'm sure a lot of times we feel energized or refreshed when we go to the trainings but we can't implement that well. We would need to go to DJJ specific trainings for detention teachers or program based. I think what would probably help. But I'm also sure it would be hard to do.
102 Dissonance with t he facility at large . Sharon spoke in depth about her experiences with staff that were not educators at the JC facility . She felt that they d id not understand or support what the Education staff was trying to accomplish. Specifically, Sharon sp oke about t he contrast between her expectations and priorities for students as an Education staff member compared to those of the broader JC facility . concerns were primarily related to security. The facility has their own rules and re gulations and policies and things that collaboratively with Education staff. Nothing seems to be planned with education in mind sometimes. Someone has to get his meds at 8:00 or they hav e to get their meds in the morning and then so and so has to go to the counselor and so and so has to go to therapy and so and so is being interrogated and the other person has to be interviewed by the state see their lawyer. All of this stuff is going on during class hours and all of it affects the students in my class depending on what happens. The outcome of these things predicts wha t they have to do. It became clear to me during the course of our interviews that Sharon perceived the facility saw security as being the first priority, and education as the last. What security staff wanted always trumped goals of the educational staff . just here during school hours. Security is not always consistent with Education policies on behavior expectations during non school hours and as a result the students feel listen during school. and did not care if their actions resulted in positive outcomes for students or not. I was naÃ¯ve when I first entered this job. There are a lot of shortcuts. For where you have all of these people who are sitting around making decisions including the kid depending on how old they are. Not only about medication but also about disposition and where are they going to go and
103 medication yes or no? Is that medication making you sick in class? How Dissonance within herself. The dissonance Sharon experienced between her expe ctations and the reality of her experiences at work caused Sharon to question herself. As much as Sharon identified herself as a passionate learner and hard worker, the dissonance she experienced each day chipped away at her morale and drive. Working in a JC school had become painful and disorienting for Sharon. I have to check in with myself as an individual sometimes. Sometimes I of you, that wasn't very adult though it worked, it's not how I would want to be portrayed. You know, sometimes I think I would act different and say things differently as a teacher in a traditional school or non DJJ atmosphere. And sometimes I feel bad and question who I am becoming he re. This place changes you. Sharon believed that working in the JC school environment had transformed her in a negative way. She realized that being aggressive and sometimes hostile helped her to secure the behaviors she wanted from others in the environm ent. Staff and students would comply with her requests when she behaved this way, but who she had become was far removed from her views of the ideal educator. I feel like I'm losing and I don't want to lose myself to appeal to the DJJ environment. I th ink teaching in this setting has changed me as a person somewhat, where you get more feisty or more aggressive or more I got your personality has to adapt to the environment, which is unfortunate because it makes me feel like as a person, what have I become? And sometimes it makes me cringe. I have to give myself a time out. It
10 4 Voice of surrender The final voice that I heard from Sharon was a long way from the passionate and enthusiastic learner that she portrayed when we first me t. The dichotomy between students, the school, the facility, and herself ultimately led to the Voice of Surrender. Sharon became tired in the absence of meaningful le arning opportunities and motivated colleagues and students. There was a sense of defeat in her voice as she described how sometimes it was easier to just skip an instructional period than face her students. a whole lot of education is going on because if one or two kids say that myself, Indeed, even if Sharon went to the cla ssroom and taught, I heard the strong sense of surrender to a culture so different than the one in which she grew up. Sometimes, you feel like, why bother? Sometimes I think, I could do o. I could just go online, pick out some word search and say to the students, computer and probably look for other jobs or do other work or do Sharon, completely demoralized, questioned not if, but when she would leave this job. necessarily want to teach in an alternative setting.
105 Sharon was deeply questioning her career choice as a JC teacher. Despite her passion for learning, her experiences in this work had left her feeling defeated. She repeatedly spoke about how she imagined that the majority of th staff would likely leave the school within the next few years, and the ones who would stay were not worth keeping. I could hear the disappointment in her voice as she reflected on one teacher that she was confident would remain at the school because of the low standards present in the JC environment as opposed to a more traditional public school setting. There are three teachers and one teaching assistant. I can envision most of us leaving. One person, she probably would stay e ven though she has she would stay. When Sharon reached out to me for a fourth interview, I was saddened but not surprised to learn that she had not only quit her job at the JC school, but had in fact left the teaching profession altogether. During the interview, Sharon ta lked to me about the stifling sensation of being surrounded by apathy and no longer being able to survive in that environment. She talked about having a new lease on life and feeling incredibly happy now that she had left the teaching profession . Step Fou the guiding research question: how do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences
106 interpretation) of her experiences working in the JC school setting is inexplicably intertwined with her personal life history and understanding of who she is as an teacher and the reality of the JC school community proved to be a toxi c combination. Sharon, a teacher, initially highly motivated to work with challenging students , had changed dramatically over the course of five years. The sense of dissonance between her passion for learning and hard work, and her view of the community as apathetic and unmotivated, led Sharon to become a teacher she did not recognize, and ultimately abandon teaching altogether. Marie : The Emerging Fortunate Leader Step One: The P lot Marie is a white woman in her mid forties . She has spent her entire t eaching career in one JC school, spanning nearly a decade. She was most enthusiastic about sharing her JC teaching story and her passion for this work . A word she used again and again during our interviews was fortunate. Marie describe d herself as someo ne who ha d always known she wanted to be a teacher . Similar to other participants, however, she had no idea that teaching in JC was something that even existed. During our first interview, s he was quick to tell me how grateful she was to have had this ex perience because she believed this was the work she was meant to do: I feel very blessed because I really just happened upon this job. I had no idea it existed and from the very first month I was there, I just thought be. It was a flawless fit from the very When Marie graduated with her b achelor's degree and general education teaching certification in grades K 8 at the age of 34 , she began substitute teaching in
107 the small rural community where she lived in the s outhwestern United States. She worked for six months at the only school in town, a K 12 school with an enrollment of roughly 125 students, until she learned about an open full time teaching position at a local JC school. Upon lear ning of this opportunity, Marie decided to apply immediately. drawn to kids who maybe need a little more support and guidance. Marie worked i n the oldest operating JC facility in the state. The facility held approximately 50 to 60 male and female juveniles at one time. On average, most individuals were committed to the facility for one to two months, but some stay ed as long as nine months. Marie said that the facility was not or iginally designed to have a school: I s small, there are no windows. And then the single w indowless classroom that we have is in what used to be a dormitory years ago. It was bui lt back in the day when there was a very punitive mindset, I mean the kids are in the progressive thinking and w hat the programming that sary to help these kids . Consequ ently , reconfiguring the school operations was a creative endeavor given that the building was originally designed and built with consideration to punitive purposes. Marie's JC facility only had one classroom. The windowle ss room, formerly a boys' dormitory, accommodated approxim ately 30 students. To accommodate all the students, two separate school sessions were held each day. The morning session, for older male students, always had the largest enrollment. A ll female stu dents, younger male students, and any students Marie described as being particularly high need attend ed school in the afternoon.
108 As a condition for her hire, Marie agreed to go back to graduate school for two years while she worked on obtaining her Spec ial Education m aster's degree and K 12 Special Education certification so she could become the Special Education teacher for the facility. Shortly after Marie began her teaching position, the lead teacher left the facility , so Marie was promoted to Lead T eacher. She was the only certified teacher in the facility and described herself as playing the role of g eneral e ducation teacher , s pecial e ducation teacher , and a dministrator during her beginning years in the facility. The school employed two teachers i ncluding Marie, both certified in Special and General Education, a teaching assistant, and a transition coordinator. The two teachers and teaching assistant worked together in the former dormitory turned classroom. The room had several long tables and twenty computers. An average of 20 25 students attended each morning and afternoon session. During the first three hours, the students worked individually on their personal work folders and Marie described the education staff as serving in a tutor role. So we are bouncing around from kid to kid to kid and they raise their hands when they have questions an d they need help, so I will do History, Math, Science, and H ealth all in the span of time. W beebopping around, helping ki ds with q uestions they may have. W ell I guess we are kind of tutors. For the remaining hour and a half, the educational staff in the room worked as a team to teach a lesson to the whole group. She described the daily whole group lesson as being an activity that anyone could participate in regardless of academic level or background knowledge. W history lessons or life skills, all kinds of stuff. But, so it kids know h those kinds of lessons.
109 During the time of our interviews, Marie revealed that she was at an interesting crossroad s in her JC school career. For the first time in their history, her JC faci lity was preparing to reloc ate to a brand new building. In addition, Marie was preparing to transition into her new official ro le as Principal of the school. She believed the facility had the right philosophy towards educating incarcerated students, and w as thankful that the staff and students would finally have a building that reflected this philosophy: the very first day I started here, the facility has always been so accommoda ting and so supportive . I know I am so fortunate to work in a place that holds education in such high regard . T hey know how important education re really, really fortunate that way . When we get in this new facility really want to do with the kids. My r esponse to the plot In listening to Marie's plot, I f ound myself eager to discover her multiplicity of voices other participants . Marie also ha d more years of experience in JC schools than any other participant in this study , and she convey ed the most enthusiasm for her w ork, students, and colleagues. She enjoyed the work from the very beginning and this passion persisted over time. Although she essentially stumbled into this specific line of teaching work, after nearly a d ecade on the job , she appear ed to still experience joy in her career and growth and improvement in her craft and she reported no intention of leaving. In fact, she was the only participant interviewed that was advancing into a leadership role in a JC scho ol. I listened for what supports helped her to remain and experience success in her work in JC schools.
110 Attending to the parts of the w hole In this section, I attend to the various parts of Marie's story. Specifically, I address steps two and three of t he Listening Guide. Step two is comprised of two I poems. Step three is comprised of the contrapuntal voices identified while analyzing Marie's interviews : Voice of Collaborator and Voice of Change . Step Two: I P oems I n this section, I present two I poe ms crafted directly from Marie's interview transcripts. Each poem is followed by a response describing what I gleaned about Marie's understanding of her experiences teaching in JC schools. I poem one: Fortunate, part one I love where I am. I have no des ire to go to a public high school or middle school or even elementary. This poem captured Marie's allegiance to and passion for her work in JC schools. Marie understood her work to be very d ifferent from that of a traditional public school setting and felt fortunate, a word she used countless times in her conversations with me. Marie felt she was working exactly where she was meant to be working. I poem two: Fortunate, part two I am abo ut my job I am about these kids I guess becoming an administrator has changes and there are some very good positive changes I will also be taken away from day to day operation I have an opportunity to have an impact I guess the impact that you make is di fferent I have an excellent staff right now. I should say, team I feel fortunate for that
111 This poem emerged from a line of conversation centered on Marie's upcoming transition into her position as School Principal. It showed Marie trying to continue to convey a positive spirit and attitude and also shed light on her sense of anxiety about administrator. Step Three : Contrapuntal Voices Voice of collaborator The strongest voice I heard when listening to Marie was the Voice of Collaborator. Marie conveyed an overwhelmingly positive attitude about her work in JC schools. She attributed this to her colleague s at JC facilities and across the state. I feel very fortunate to be teaching in this field and especially at this facility because we have so much support for education. And I also appreciate the collaboration we have statewide in secure care educatio n. tight group of educators in our state. I can call fifteen other people with a question and I can get information fro m them. She was quick to highlight that teaching in a JC school was inherently unique in many ways, and had the potential to b e significantly more challenging. It was particularly difficult for her when she first began the job. here . I loved working with the kids, but it was really, really hard. It was . I t just I always felt like I was not teaching, not doing what I was supposed to be doing . Marie credited her ability to remain, succeed, and enjoy her career to the strong collaborative and supportive relationships and strong communic ation she had with other educators and stakeholders in her facility and other facilities statewide: A common thread in facilities across the state is our willingness to share. We get together quarterly, the entire stat e, and then we have once a year
112 sym support and also a lot of accountability Marie cited the spirit of collaboration as support ing her success in this challenging school environment. When I began working at the facility, the lead teacher at the time was a great, great person and she gave me a lot of support . T he short term successes are very hard to get used to. follow students for a traditional school year like other teachers. And the lead teacher said, "You are, you really are doing what you're supposed to be doing. Y not going to see it in an 18 week st ay , but believe me these little four hour blocks of time we have with the kids, for a few weeks at a time, if you look really . . . helped me to real ize that we are making progress. Just in a different way. When she talk ed about the spiri t of collaboration and communication in her facility , she emphasize d how they were ideals that were valued across the facility. Further, she indicated how embracing these two values prevent ed many challenges that were common in other facilities: Collabor ation, i facility. I mean important to management and the detention officers obstacles or friction that other facilities do. that way. So we share and we learn from each other and we learn from Marie viewed education and security staff at her facility as being very separate from each other and h aving different roles in their daily work. However, she believed they a sense of mutual respect and transparent communication existed between the education and security staff at her facility. g and the job that they have to do. We view ourselves as guests in their facility. make security feel a little antsy, like if kids have to be out of their seats or use tools or whate go to management and show them our lesson and tell them what we want
113 ved. But most of the time they either say yes or want to work together to find ways to modify a lesson so that it works for everyone. Marie believed that the collaborative conditions in her facility were unique when compared with other facilities. I talk with other educators in secure care that bring stuff to detention and here . I have a very unique situation here in that the supp ort that we receive here is and I so appreciate it. I mean I might have a whole different attitude and outlook on secure care education if I had happen ed to land in a different facil this stories and I think , oh my gosh, that sucks. Marie described facing challenges at work but feeling capable of overcoming them, specifically because of support from her collaborativ e JC community. Instead of retreating from problems, her colleagues collaboratively tackled issues and approached them as learning opportunities. I think that even the assess and reflect on the program as a whole and we are able to look at working on what we need to change. Voice of change The second voice I hear d as I listen ed to Marie was the Voice of Change . At the time of our inte rviews, Marie was at a significant crossroad s in her JC school career. S he ha d recently earned her Administration license and was preparing to transition into the role of Principal when the JC facilit y moved into their new building. Although Marie always wanted to be a teacher, she never envisioned herself becoming an administrator.
114 I never had aspirations to bec ome a principal of a school. I just wanted to be a teacher . The county superintendent is my boss and he said, "Have you ever thought about get ting your principal certificate? And I thought, "Well, not really." And he said, "W ell you might want to think about that. And so I thought, "Okay, if my boss tells me I ought to think about it, maybe I ought to. And so I returned to it and I am so glad I did it. Once the plans for the move to the new facility were communicated to the staff, Marie was offered and accepted a promotion to School Principal. Plans were made for her to assume this role full time after the relocation to the new building. Wh en she initially talked to me about her evolving role in the school, she asserted a belief that it would not substantially affect the nature of her work, or how much she enjoyed it. She ha d recently begun the transition to administrator, spending half of her day teaching and the other half training for her new role: To be honest, I will have a little more responsibility than I did, but not a whole lo t learned stuff to help me become a better leader . I honestly, I just kind of by default am where I am. I need to be a little less with the kids and focus a little more on leadership and systems and, just getting new programs started up when we move in the new facility, but I feel very fort unate about that every day. When thinking about the past nine years and the future to come, she comment ed , make with these kids. after nine years, I just really get it now. The ev ents to come, including moving to the new facility and transitioning into her new position, were changes Marie envisioned as being characterized by both advancements and challenges. She viewed this as an opportunity to design and implement many of the vis ions that she had developed over the course of her teaching career: W hen we get in this new facility, kids.
115 It was clear that Marie spent time thinking about her leadership goals for the school and her full transition into an administrative role. She described her vision for the facility: she wanted the services that the educational staff provide to be efficient and beneficial to the students, and hoped to achieve this vision through constant attention to learning new practices and implementation of sustainable systems. To set something up that will continue and continue to improve long after I leave is my goal. She saw herself as having two main priorities. Her first priority focused on issues related to transitioning students into the community after their release. Specifically, she hoped to extend the stakeholders involved in collaboration and communication to include personnel working wi th juveniles after their release. bringing the whole community together; all of us who work with these kids in d ifferent capacities. It was evident that Marie was passionate about applying the ideas and infrastructure she had experienced as a teacher and extending it to include this wider network of stakeholders involved in the wellbeing of her students. I would l ove to have some sort of an advisory council that includes different service providers in the community that work with these kids to talk to each other and streamline services and just be more efficient in how we serve the kids . about, even in our small community, that I know would be helpful if we just made a connection and wo rked together. Her second priority focused on improving the experiences of teachers within her facility and elsewhere. Although Mari e had positive experiences as a teacher, she was very aware that this was not likely the case for all teachers and all JC schools. I'd like to see something regional and even national, where we could talk to each other and learn from each other. It just ma kes sense because we
116 are such a unique group of educators and we have unique needs. We need setting specific opportunities similar to those that are available to traditional public educators. While we may get invited to traditional public educator relate d events, the trainings they receive are very rarely relevant to us and what we do. Step Four: Returning to Marie's Whole The fourth step of Marie's Listening Guide process is to return to the whole. What have I come to understand as a result of this pr ocess and what is the evidence that supports my understanding ? I reflect once more on the guiding research question: how do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the JC school setting? In the case of Marie , the m ost significant takeaway was the immense power that perceived positive and sustained collaboration had on her morale, satisfaction, and ability to persist, grow, and succeed in the JC school setting. Like the other teachers, Marie acknowledged that being a teacher in JC schools was unique and challenging compared to teaching in other settings. From the beginning, however, Marie had experienced a sense of strong collaboration among not only education and security colleagues in her own facility, but also JC colleagues across the state. As a result, Marie spent her entire teaching career in this facility and reported no intentions of leaving. Rather, she prepared to step into a leadership role and expand upon the collaborative values that worked so well in her experiences. She expressed intentions to use these experiences to improve outcomes for her students and the universe of staff serving them before, during, and after commitment to JC facilities in her own school community, and, if she reaches her goals, with teachers from across the country.
117 related to her descriptions of academic instruction. While it was very clear that Marie felt proud of the work she and her colleagues d o, she described their work as being like tutoring based around worksheets and current events. Although Marie spoke about how much her school collaborates with other JC schools, it led me to wonder more about what they focus on when they meet. How much tim e is actually spent focusing on evaluating their methods of instruction and thinking beyond worksheets? Feeling good about classroom instruction and actually carrying out effective classroom instruction are not mutually exclusive. Paul: The Gardener Ste p One: The Plot Paul is a white man in his mid forties. When Paul reflected on his teaching history, he framed it within a life full of intense hands on work dating back to his childhood. He had difficulty remembering a time when he did not have a job. Some of his earliest memories were of mowing lawns, stacking wood, and doing other odd jobs around his neighborhood to buy clothing and anything else he might have wanted above what his family was able to provide. As a teenager, he assumed more formal p ositions At the age of seventeen, he joined the Army National Guard as a medic and engineering battalion. He went to boot camp the summer before his senior year of high school. During his last year in high sc Resuscitate ward in medic training after he graduated from high school. He described the disturbing experiences that he dealt with every day. He cared for patients in their
118 After high school, he spent a year working as a mobile unit attendant for the American Red Cross bef ore spending three years in the Army as a medic. After an attend college and study forestry. He spent the following ten years working in the National Park Service as a Fores try Technician and, in his spare time, as a freelance carpenter. About ten years into his forestry and carpentry career, he fell off a roof and suffered a back injury that required him to leave his positions. Suddenly Paul had to reevaluate his career pa thway, as his injuries would prevent him from returning to forestry and carpentry in the immediate future. He knew he would have to go back to school to become qualified for another career. Looking at his options, he ultimately decided on education. That was the pivotal moment. I decided to go into education. I think wheelchair crutches again, I can do that. He took the coursework to become a Science Teacher, and bounced around multiple different public high schools in the state before accepting a Math and Science position at a private therapeutic residential school for high school aged girls. Girls were placed there because they were suffering from eating disorder s, drug addiction, or self injury. He remained in that position for eighteen months, until the day that a student was brought into his classroom by a guard on a leash. He was instructed by the guard to keep her on a leash because she had tried to run awa y the night before. He called Child Protective Services and left his position immediately. Paul went to another alternative private school but only stayed there for two months. Very quickly, he came
119 ted his decision to leave. He started his own construction company and remained in that role for five years. When he got divorced, five years after resuming work in construction, and assuming full custody of his child, he needed a forty hour week job to meet his financial responsibilities. At that time, Paul noticed a temporary opening at a JC school advertised in the paper. Like the other participants, Paul did not know that schools even existed in JC facilities. corrections center to go to school. years of age. It was a small facility that house d approximately 30 inmates at one time. He estimated that the facility had between an eighty and 90% recidivism rate. When Paul began the position five years ago, the student population was primarily 16 17 year olds who committed crimes. He indicated tha t only a small number had a designated disability. Over the years, the student population changed. Paul described how the student population had become younger and more likely to require Special Education. Currently approximately 80% of students required Special Education services and most were in middle school. Most students remained in the facility for a month or less but some stayed for much longer. In the beginning, Paul only saw the positives about his new job. After the 1 st what, these classes are small, the and structure in the detention center, I love it. And then I could like do stuff with the kids and see growth with the kids, see them learning .
120 His optimistic outlook did not last long, however, as he realized that the degree of support he would receive for doing his job was minimal. I came to realize that my only introduction and training for here was literally going to be, classroom. That was all I got. There were no books, it was one of those moments of, wow, how do I this? Who are these kids? What are these kids about? Paul described his first two years at the school as miserable. Each day became more and more of a struggle for him to go to work, and by the end of his second year, he was ready to leave his teaching position. Leadership and security were not in support of teachers and the standards for education were seemingly non existe nt. Paul saw how quickly teachers became apathetic about their jobs. Little academic instruction actually occurred. Compounding this were the daily challenges he experienced with his students. Paul described two different types of challenges presented by the JC population. First, Paul was challenged to teach all students in his classroom equally and compassionately, particularly given the serious crimes some may have committed. Paul also had to actively work on overcoming his personal biases about the st udents based on reading their files and learning about the crimes they had committed. offenders, they did something to get here into my classroom. T super charming and you can bond w never forget. I do teachers like to read their file t for sexu al assault and I know about it, when they came in I was just The second challenge Paul depicted was related to the high rate of recidivism in this student popu lation. Paul explained the frustration he felt in giving his best to ensure
121 a therapeutic and rigorous environment for his students while they were detained, while realizing that his hard work would likely go to waste as soon as his students left the faci lity and reentered the community. You get them stable, you get them going great, you get them turned back onto school, they get released and through whatever channels they end up in the exact same environment that created them in the first place . Methamp hetamine addiction was rampant in the surrounding community and to Paul it was at the core of the high recidivism rates. They leave us, drop out of school, they get more into the meth lifestyle, we ack in and porch or hiding i n the closet when the P robation O fficer shows up. But they finally come back and t hese kids are a mess. W hen they leave and For two years, the challenges of poor leadership, student issues, and high reci divism rates left Paul feeling powerless and questioning his ability to remain in the position. At the end of his second year, however, something changed the school administration. After a human resources investigation stemming from allegations of miscond uct, security and education leadership were asked to leave. The other teacher was fired. New facility and education leadership were hired in addition to a new teacher named Linda. Linda was a Special Education teacher with twenty five years of experience working with students with emotional and behavioral disorders. The changes were significant enough to encourage Paul to remain in his position to this day. While the student challenges remained the same, Paul now had a supportive work environment that aligned with his visions for the way school should be designed and executed. Additionally, he felt a strong sense of collaboration with the new
122 Principal and Linda. He was no longer alone. He no longer felt like a teenage babysitter. He felt like a pro fessional on a team. To get Linda on board was great. very functional, very effective, goofy , and quirky team. These kids need it, effective. W them, and gettin g work out of them. But we collaboration. We have morning meetings where we meet with the staff to find out how the kids are doing. Our principal is amazing. We ask some thing from him and pretty soon we have it. My response to the plot In listening to the plot, I was struck by the way Paul framed his life: through seemingly countless transitions across many jobs. One of the first things Paul said to me during our first help but think that transition was the buzzword for how Paul framed his life, as well. Paul had been able to leave jobs, and even different lines of work, very quickly when his experien ces differed from his expectations. His history revealed that he was not reluctant to move when he physically needed to leave due to an injury or when he found a workplace unacceptable. I listened to hear what it was that made him persist in this teachin g position despite such undesirable experiences in his early years at the facility, knowing that he had always been unafraid to leave one job in search of something else that would be a better fit. Attending to the parts of the w hole In this section, I at tend to the various parts of the whole of Paul`s story. I will accomplish this through steps two and three of the Listening Guide. Step two is comprised of two I poems. Step three is comprised of the contrapuntal voices identified
123 while analyzing Paul`s interviews. These voices include: Voice of the Past (Hopeless) and Voice of the Present (Renewed Hope) . Step Two: I P oems I n this section, I present two I poems crafted directly from interview transcripts. Each poem is followed by a response desc ribing what I gleaned about understanding of his experiences teaching in JC schools. I poem one: Teacher as gardener I like gardening. An d I want my trees to be the best trees ever. And I want my trees to be strong and to be straight and to have a single bulb, single stem. I have to go out on occasion and cut some of the branches off the trees, I know it hurts the trees, I know the tr I know the trees are the best trees that they can ever be. Paul held many jobs a cross multiple professions in his life. I isolated this portion of the interview because I could really hear how he married his lifelong passion for hands on work and working in the outdoors with his philosophy of teaching in the JC school. It showcased Paul being unafraid to make decisions that may have initially felt painful or dramatic in nature if they ultimately served the best interest of his students in the long term. I poem two: All a lone I ge t emotionally soaked up in the interviews
124 when I think about the kids, I can let the feelings come out. front of the kids This portion of my conversations with Paul was significant beca use he reflected on how he had not anticipated getting so emotional during our interviews. Paul cried multiple times over the course of the sessions . He said it was very uncharacteristic for him. This resonated with me because it made me think of the im mense challenges and issues that teachers face when working in a JC school. On the surface, this includes the challenges that students exhibit in their behavior, and the daily stressors that may be present simply because of working in a corrections facili ty. On a deeper level, working in a JC school also exposes you to the life stories and experiences that the students bring with them to the classroom. Paul made clear that while he displayed a cold and tough exterior in front of his students, he carried with him a strong emotional side that he seldom expressed outwardly at work. Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices Voice of the past: Hopeless The first voice that I heard when listening to Paul was the voice of the past, and it was characterized by a deep se nse of hopelessness. When he thought back to his first two years in the facility, he described them as dysfunctional. It was a challenge to come to work each day. The principal of the school and the manager of the facility, in addition to several other assistant managers in the facility whom he called the Inner Circle, were
125 high academic standards he held for his students. It made him dread coming to work each day. Y see what kind of day you were going to have. It was that bad. I t was tense, it was real tense, it was a lot of headaches , and you get out as around after your workday was officially done at all. the Inner Circle ran the center . He went on to describe how the Inner Circle interacted with their staff each day. They would seemingly pick somebody ne w on a weekly basis to harass and humiliate for no logical reason . He said there was a very high staff turnover during the reign of the Inner Circle simply because of the anxiety of being bullied by the leadership. Paul grew cynical and lacked motivation begin to form relationships with them because he assumed by default that they would soon be leaving the job. t even bother to learn their name until six months later, cause I mean are they even going to last the first six months? Probably not. Cause we would just see them coming and going and even with the economy in the toilet, they were just like nope and I e ven had developed this five phases of employment Paul had stepped into another school position that felt more punitive, isolat ing, and like babysitting than an academic environment in his eyes. There were no standards or accountability in place for education.
126 When I first came into the job, instruction had devo lved into videos and cross word puzzles. And they were just, I hate to say it, to be a teacher there was to just be a teenage baby sitter for four hours a day. The students were a challenging population, but for Paul, it was ultimately the leadership and school environment that made it so hard for him to come to school e ach day. There were many moments where I was looking at the exit half way through a school day and thinking about using it and just walking away happ ened with a student interaction. It was all about the Inner Circle and how they were going to be that day. The emotion there whe n you walk in and what kind of d N early two years into his employment, the Inner Circle decided to focus their attention on Paul. They pulled me from class and the Inner Circle brought me in to the break room, which is not on camera. The boss is raising his voice and yelling at me and h like either one of three things will happe n. option A and basically I just went to human resources and when I went there was already a person assigned at county human resources to deal with this guy. And I was the last straw. After an investigation that inclu ded putting microphones in all of the rooms in the facility to capture misconduct, the manager of the facility was put on leave, and eventually left voluntarily citing an early retirement. Then, one by one, the other leaders in the Inner Circle, including the Principal, followed suit. Once this happened, the era of hopelessness was over. Voice of the present: Renewed hope As I listened to Paul, I heard two distinct voices characterized by two different time periods in his work: the Voice of the Past, ch aracterized by hopelessness during
127 the reign of the Inner Circle, and the Voice of the Present, which was characterized by a renewed sense of hope after the departure of the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle warned their staff that without them the facility would collapse and then when they did, we just watched the place blossom. After the breakdown of the Inner Circle, with a new staff sharing similar rehabilitation and academic oriented goals and philosophies about schooling in ok about his work became hopeful. The first time we all sat down it was like you know what, we want a school, true academic curriculum. Paul was no longer alone. All of a sudden, Paul had an opinion and posse ssed knowledge that his colleagues respected. He watched the entire facility community transform dramatically. It went from being an intimidating environment in which he felt tremendous anxiety and anger, to something much more positive and powerful. The new school team worked together to create a new set of policies and practices for staff and students. What we did with our school is we went to Common C ore curriculum, where we hold them accountable at state standards and one day I was able to spend 7000 dollars on text books, so we got books and we got rid of the videos and we got rid of all that. And we pushed f or a policy of no Once the school personnel changed, and new practices were adopted, one of the most significant changes to follow was that the JC s chool quickly became a sought after student teaching practicum site for local university students. Under the leadership of the Inner Circle, there were no student teachers spending practicum hours at the
128 school. In the post Inner Circle era, Paul and his new team made it a priority to bring student teachers into their classes. I t student teachers in here, the Inner Circle involved in a practicum rotation with a local University, where Elementary and Special E d ucation du they all want to come here. A lot of the student teachers year, they say they thought they wanted to teach second grade but aft er this experience , they want these kids. Another one of the post Inner Circle era changes was the hiring of a new security manager. He came into the job with a far more therapeutic mindset than the punitive oriented Inner Circle. Paul admitted that ther e was a bit of an adjustment phase with the new security leadership but he felt positive about the shift as it aligned with his philosophy for the facility. We also have a new security manager who is amazing. H therapeutic d of transformative. He focuses on how to work with the kids to find out what can we do to help them change and grow. Our safety and in school else and just tackling them in a chair, which we had under the Inner Circle. Overall, the departure of the Inne r Circle gave way for positive changes including a strong collaborative education staff, a new partnership with the local university through student teacher practicum placements, and a shift to therapeutic oriented security. Although the work remained cha llenging, and Paul stated that any teacher Paul transitioned across multiple careers and many jobs in his lifetime. H owever, when we spoke about where he saw himself in both the near and distant future, it
129 Inner Circle era, Paul spoke about how he had found his career home. He was where he belonged. W hat I see is sometimes I see myself here until I retire, cause I like the a positive service for them. I student teachers and the practicum students is you have to find your niche. ssorly type of teacher teach English Lit, go for it. I f you like the hands on, k ind of rough kids, get into vocational tech . my niche ke the kids, I like the variety. . I thi nk I see myself here until I retire. Step Four : Returning to Paul`s Whole The fourth step of Paul`s Listening Guide process is to return to the whole. What have I come to understand as a result of this process and what evidence supports my understanding ? I reflect once more on the guiding research question: how do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the JC school setting? In the case of Paul, I returned to the whole of his story with a new understanding of how significant a collaborative work environment with like minded staff members was when it came to how he felt about his daily experiences at work. Paul demonstrated that he was unafraid to leave one position for another despite the uncertainty associated w ith taking on a new job. This pattern appeared to be something that was bound to continue as he was faced with seemingly nonexistent support and collaboration from leadership or colleagues and little to no standards or accountability for the work he did w ith students. The departure of the Inner Circle and the addition of Linda and new leadership in education and security left Paul feeling energized and hopeful despite the ongoing stress from the challenges his students brought with them to the classroom e ach day. Paul experienced a significant transformation from someone that entered the
130 parking lot each morning with a sense of dread to someone that held immense pride in and passion for his profession. Linda: Juvie Mama Step One: The P lot Linda is a w hite woman in her late forties. She was the most veteran teacher participant in the study. She has been a Special Education teacher for nearly thirty years. For the past three years, she has worked in a JC school with Paul. Linda was hired into the JC school after the Inner Circle era. Linda never planned to become a teacher. While pursuing a Cultural Anthropology degree in college, she unexpectedly became pregnant. Her parents, both teachers, told her explicitly that she should pursue any career but teaching. Once she became pregnant, Linda felt that changing her major to Education would help her to learn as much about children as possible as she prepared for parenthood. Once she began her Education studies, Linda quickly decided to pursue a doub le major in Learning Disabilities. She found herself drawn to students with disabilities while doing field work, and had a feeling she would be able to get a job after graduation more easily if she pursued a degree in this area. She knew there was a need given the high burnout and turnover rate in Special Education. After graduation, Linda accepted her first Special Education teaching position. She described having difficult but important foundational experiences as a new teacher that set her up to be su ccessful and confident in her teaching ability: My first job was with a Title 1 reading program. It was all Special E d kids and it was a brand new program, so they had nothing. They had no curriculum, no supplies, and my classroom was actually a converted bathroom . So that was kind of a trip, but it was a really good learning experience, because little did I know that I would spend the rest of my
131 career basically developing my own curriculum and trying to fit everything So it was a ha rd first year but it was a really good first year because I learned fast. I learned this is what I have to do. five year tenure as a Special Education teacher included seven years teaching in a self contained classroom for middle school st udents with EBD. In her last year in a public school, before she transitioned to her JC job, she was also the IEP coordinator for the entire school. Her caseload was beyond what she felt she could manage and she began to feel burnt out. My last year how much longer I can do this. Her pathway into JC schools was unplanned and came through a summer job opportunity. A principal that Linda had worked for previously approached her about working one on one with a student with schizophrenia in the JC school in their town. During that summer job, a full time position at the JC school opened up for the fall. one . Although moving to the JC school represented a significant pay decrease, there were benefits she felt outweighed the reduced compensation. She envisioned that working in a JC school would be easier than working in a traditional public school setting. O nce she started, she did in fact find it much easier: I Behavior Plans. And then the real big draw was that I can basically go in and teach whatever the kid s are interested in at the time. So, it was just kind of nuts, going into the corrections center where, you know, our highest number is maybe 27 at one time and then that group gets split, so
132 me it was just a cake walk, I was like oh my gosh this is so easy. most of the students in the f acility already. Many of them had been her students in her old school. Yeah, I walked in and the first da I already know you! So, I was like yeah, these were my kiddos. Literally! The maj orit a rapport established with them because I worked with most of them before, so you good for me. Furthermore, Linda felt that the professional traini ng she received while working in the JC school was significantly better. The training and support in juvenile corrections, I would say, is 100% o. Get as much training as you can. Whereas with the pub lic school because funding is short a upon it was always kind of a battle. Although Linda felt there were many pe rks to working in a JC school, she did face one major struggle. She had to surrender some of her power as a classroom teacher because security personnel played a significant role in classroom management in this setting. She described not having had a good relationship with the security officer that worked in her classroom, and that it caused strife. If that guy is not here, things run great and smooth , and you know the discipline i s in place. But as soon as he steps in the building can just feel it. Rega rdless of security related issues, Linda expressed that overall she was pleased with her work and had a desire to stay in this specific JC school until her planned
133 retirement in six years. After retirement, Linda expressed intentions to remain in a part t ime teaching role at the facility even if just in a volunteer role. My response to the plot In listening to Linda, I heard a teacher who was enjoying her job. Linda stood apart from the other participants for several reasons. She was the most veteran of all of the participants, with at least fifteen more years of teaching experience. She also spent the first twenty five years of her career in a general public school setting as a Special Education teacher; whereas, none of the other participants nor I had spent any significant time teaching outside of exclusionary school settings, if at all. Linda possessed unique expert knowledge and experience due to her career pathway across these two vastly different settings. I was eager to listen to her perspective and learn about what protective factors may have existed within and around her in her work each day in the JC school setting. Attending to the parts of the w hole In this section, I attend to the various parts of the whole of Linda`s story. I accomplis h this through steps two and three of the Listening Guide. Step two is comprised of two I poems. Step three is comprised of the contrapuntal voices identified while analyzing Linda`s interviews. These voices include: Voice of Mama and Voice of Schism . S tep Two: I P oems I n this section, I present two I poems crafted directly from interview transcripts. Each poem is followed by a response describing what I gleaned about understanding of her experiences teaching in JC schools.
134 I poem one: I fell into this I fell into this I thought that this was an easy fit I thought I like knowing that This I poem was significant to me because it highlighted how much Linda valued what she perceived as positive differences in JC schools compared to general public school settings. After teaching for twenty five years in a public school setting, Linda viewed her position in a JC school as an improvement in the quality of her professional day to She saw distinct advantages for her students in the JC classroom over the general public school setting. I poem t wo: Talk to them if I`m going to talk to them the nickname lovingly given to Linda by students at the facility. She was characterized as having a strong, caring, maternal approach to working with her students and this poem embodied that caring ethic. Linda spoke often about how she interacted with and cared for her stud ents. This brief poem illustrated her teaching philosophy: she put her students first and always sought to treat them with dignity and care.
135 Step Three : Contrapuntal Voices Voice of mama When I listened to Linda, the dominant voice I heard was the V oice of Mama. The Voice of Mama was ever present when she spoke about why the students nicknamed her Juvie Mama. Linda smiled and laughed as she told me about her cherished nickname at the facility. It largely came from the routine in place for her stude enter the door. At the door, every student was greeted one at a time by Juvie Mama. They received a mint and a pump of hand lotion from her upon entering the classroom . She spoke about how this routine consisting of very simple gestures gave her a significant daily opportunity. She was able to have an individual interaction with each student that made them feel acknowledged and special as soon as they entered the clas sroom. She described the strong maternal instinct she had when it came to her students clear that the time spent with her students was her true passion at work. My basic number one high for me in this work is just building that relationship with the kids. Her daily routines such as giving each student lotion and a mint before class each day gave her the opportunity to very quickly do an assessment of each student. She could reflect upon how their daily dispositions might affect the climate of the class, and how she may have had to modify her lessons for the day: When the kids come in, you can tell if something strange happened or if there is a weird vibe. You can fe okay scratch that plan plan, and , scrap it . st going to play a documentary. I t has the
136 going to happen. You have to be resourceful that way. I think you have to be really flexible. This flexibility extended beyond her personal approach to teaching. Linda viewed the JC school as being more flexible than her previous school environments and relished in the fact that in the JC school setting, she could focus less on burdensome paperwork and strict calendars and more on helping her kids with what she felt like they really needed. I still really want to focus on their basic s kills that they need so they hit that more focused on the goal of this being a safe place to be and yes, I want them to learn something, but at the same time I want them to adjust their behavior so back here. She continued to see many of them in her small community and she made it a priority to maintain relationships with them as one means of ensuring that they experienced success upon their release. For Linda, knowing that they were experiencing success was at the core of what was important to Linda in this work. One o f my biggest high s is when my because they sobe t It means a lot because these are the kids that, sitting in a class with thirty five kids, they feel lost. She did not witness all of them returned to the JC facility and her classroom time and time again. The high rate of recidivism in the Y ou know for me one of the hardest parts of this work would be seein g the kids come back again and again. Cause I want them to be successful
137 In listening to the Voice of Mama, it was clear t hat Linda was at her happiest inside her classroom and caring for her students. Her main priority and passion in her them. She did not speak much about the broader facili ty and instead focused on her classroom community. Linda was strong in her belief that her work as a teacher in JC schools was largely a freeing and positive experience because paperwork and strict curricular calendar related barriers did not stand betw een her and the work she wished to do with her students. Like any good mother, Juvie Mama wanted the freedom to choose and do what she believed was best for her kids. Voice of schism There was a second voice I heard when I listened to Linda: the Voice o f Schism. to the deep divide that she experienced between her beliefs for what was best for the students versus the beliefs of the security personnel she had to work with in her classroom. Right now the low of this work ing on as far as the discipline. Because that does make it rough. It was an uncomfortable reality when Linda, who believed that Juvie Mama knew best, had to work along side security personnel with conflicting disciplinary philosophies to maintain student safety and well being. She described not feeling in full control or experiencing a sense of active collaboration when it came to addressing discipline in her classroom alongside security personnel:
138 re worker who is guy. Like, one thing and this is how I t get it. Thi s is my are like, su per adept at picking up on that. So Then it turns into a problem. they leave a disr uptive kid in class redirecting the kid. She was very concerned that conflicts with the security worker reduced her authority in the classroom. This was especially problematic in light of the frequent influx of new students each When I , removed from the classroom for ten minutes and rethink wh doing and come back. And when that youth care re not gonna take him out of class, that right there set s up a situation where they ref do now? During the course of our interviews, Linda spoke to me about how she, Paul, and the JC school administration had a series of unsuccessful attempts to schedule meetings with the s ecurity manager regarding the behavior of security personnel in the classroom. By our third interview, Linda said that the Principal was considering bypassing the security manager and requesting a meeting with the manager for the entire facility. Nothing else seemed to be working. There was no communication from Security. She speculated that part of the poor communication was due to the fact that there was no facility wide behavior plan in place. A written list of rules that school and security share di d not exist. W e really need to have a list of what the rules are a parameters with individual kids depending on thei r needs, especially with Special E d. We need to have, in writing, a skeleton framework. And there needs to be a meeting across the board where
139 be the starting point ... Linda worried quite a bit about the ramifications of this schism between school and security for her students. They faced t he most severe consequences as a result of this schism. know . I f someone says okay this is the rule and the kid choos es to break you want them to really hone their craft and Step four : Returning to Linda`s whole The fourth step of Linda`s List ening Guide process is to return to the whole. What have I come to understand as a result of this process and what evidence supports my understanding ? I reflect once more on the guiding research question: how do teachers understand (make meaning of; inte rpret) their experiences working in the JC school setting? In the case of Linda, she clearly saw the challenges that her students and the JC teaching context in JC schools present. She continually evaluated these challenges in light of challenges she e xperienced previously in the general public school setting. Her career in the general public school setting was dissatisfying. She was confronted with workload expectations that she felt unable to accomplish, and those expectations got in the way of what she wanted to do most teach. As a result, she was better able to reconcile the challenges she faced in JC with the unique freedoms she had there; for example, having smaller case loads and being able to adjust lesson plans to meet
140 ds was most important to Linda as opposed to strictly following local, state, and federal expectations. This may have also attributed to the reason why Her presence as a highly experienced veteran teacher may have been more important for him as a novice teacher than vice versa. The one issue that Linda seemed to continue to experience frustration over was the ongoing conflicts with the security guard in her classro om. Her expectations for this relationship were vastly different than reality. This was especially upsetting for her because of the ramifications for student progress in her classroom. One question that lingered in my mind as I arrived at a new unders tanding of Linda related to the fact that she was hired after the school had undergone significant personnel changes. How might she have understood her experiences differently if she joined the school at an earlier time? Linda entered the school after th e era of the Inner Circle ended. I was able to learn much about the history of this school before the Inner Circle the work changed significantly as leadership changed, less satisfactory teachers were let go, and Linda was hired. At the conclusion of the interviews, it was clear that the school was still not there was still an unpleasant pre sence of divide in philosophy and communication able to find satisfaction each day in being Juvie Mama to her students, likely in large
141 part due to having worked as a teac her for over twenty five years and having that perspective on the challenges in JC versus the challenges she experienced elsewhere. Ron: Meat, Potatoes, and Boredom Step One: The P lot Ron is an African American man in his mid forties. He has been a tea cher for five years, all of them at one JC school in the southeastern United States. During my three meetings with Ron, I made note that he came across as a calm and self assured man of few words with a simple, routine approach to the way he taught in a J C school. I ke ep it simple. I keep it simple. I could be wrong, but this is my meat and potatoes version of teaching. potatoes . At the start of our first interview, he told me that he refused to sugarcoat things. He would be telling me the black and white truth about his experiences, even if it came I do stuff kind of backwards. We all keep our secrets but yea . Honestly, I do not do the employee handbook. It does not work for me. When Ron reflected on how he entered the teaching field, he told me that it was never in his plan to become a teacher. He held a variety of jobs up through this mid thirties including: coaching colleg e athletics after being a college athlete himself, selling cars, and, just before teaching, he worked in real estate. Ron realized that he needed a new career plan when he witnessed the slow down and eventual crash of the real estate market in 2008. His wife, Mary, had also had been experiencing difficulty finding work. Their long time friends in town, another married couple named Greg and Lois, suggested that they consider applying for jobs at the local JC facility where they worked. Greg was the
142 direc Because Ron was underemployed, he found that he visited his wife and friends often at the JC facility. It really was not a plan, I was in real estate, doing some investing in real coming up here just to v isit cause I had some down time. Those visits soon led t o his decision to become a teacher there. I got talking to the kids inside the facility during my visits and one thing led to a nother. Finally one day, Greg [the director of the facility] was kind of h And I was like, eally , no , I had not P robably, a month later after that, I started teaching. A kind of how I ended up teaching here. I think this year marks five years. Ron described his teaching routine as being very consistent and simple over th e past five years. He had changed close to nothing about his routine since his first days in the classroom. While he did not describe having many resources, he also did not seem very concerned about it. The only things I really have in my classroom are my paper, books, about textbooks. Would it be more convenient ? Yeah. But I go online. You can print wor ksheets off a computer. People complain that we got . The information on WWII is still the same. Although Ron recently celebrated five years at the facility, he seemed uneasy when he spo ke about his satisfaction with the work. He commented frequently about growing concerns of becoming too bored with the work the longer he stayed in the position. different or if, you know,
143 My response to the plot e was portraying himself as collected and matter of fact when he spoke about his teaching practices in the classroom. I also began to hear a side of Ron that seemed isolated and stagnant in his work . As he reflected on finishing his fifth year, he spoke believing this job was not a permanent aspect of his life. He felt as though he w ould have to move on to other work eventually but d id not know when or where. He seemed only able to assert confidence in his knowledge that he could not picture himself as a teacher forever. When I was a teacher of students in exclusionary settings, I f elt overwhelmed if I ever let my mind imagine the possibility of staying in that work forever. It just seemed impossible. While my desire to leave was ultimately fueled by anxiety and frustration quite the opposite. He seemed to situate his desire to leave as simply being rooted in boredom. As I honed in teaching practices and relationships at work were like, and why he was growing bored enough to consider leaving this career. Attending to the parts of the w hole accomplish this through steps two and three of the Listening Guide. Step tw o is comprised of two I poems. Step three is comprised of the contrapuntal voices that I Voice of Grit.
144 Step Two: I P oems In this section, I present two I poems crafted transcripts. Each poem is followed by a response describing what I gleaned about I poem one: tell them and book. I either have them start reading out loud, or I answer questio ns throughout the class period but for the most part, to keep the class in line I try to keep class the change. The act of isolating I prescriptive approach to teaching his students. His interactions with students appeared very one sided line revealed a way in which Ron worked to meet his top priority for each instructional period: remaining in full control of the students from the time they entered the classroom u ntil they left. I poem two I do know that. I might at some point get into management, o get back into management. oint
145 I might move over to the operations side of things. 15 years from now, I am pretty sure of that. I mean for that long. I mean, I was in the car business for a long time, I mean, a different type of challenge, I need to add something cause otherwise, I isolated thi poem because it stood in contrast to the prescriptive and all knowing attitu de of Ron in the classroom revealed in the first I poem. When Ron spoke more broadly about the future of his career, his confidence and self assured nature wavered significantly. He stumbled in his speech support to assertions that he would not teach forever. Step Three: Contrapuntal Voices Voice of c oach In listening to Ron as he spoke about his teaching practice, I heard him repeatedly liken his pedagogical practice to his former work as a coach . Every day at sc hool was a solid and predictable routine much like regularly scheduled football practice . He spoke about having consistent goals and expectations for all of his students regardless of their backgrounds and any perceived impairments they brought to the cla ssroom. Some of my kids will say , it bipolar or
146 have anger issues and all that. Everybody has issues , stop using that an H e viewed the students as his players and his job as one to provide rigorous training, tough love, and no excuses. As new students entered his classroom for the first time, he assimilated them into the team culture and values. You pretty much have to train the kids to do what you want them to do, high on the list, the first thing you gotta do is get some order in your class er. It takes some time to get them to know what I expect but all of a sudden I have them Ron deals with Once students were members of his class, Ron expressed that his philosophy was that he would help those that wanted to be helped. If students were not ready or work, sit down and be quiet and take a zero l ike a man What Ron primarily cared about in his work was positioning himself as a mentor to his students. Honestly, I hope that my students will get something out of what I do. I mean they have to get some education, but I do spend more time on mentori to matter so much if they got an A in class o r B in class, or a D in class. I not doing stupid stuff. s, my thing , just talking to the kids. S ome talk to them. The emphasis that Ron placed on mentoring rang particularly true for his relationships with his most challenging students. Ron told me about how most of the students would enter the facility, meet him for the first time, and proclaim that they hated him. Over time and with tough love, Ron reported that most of the students grew to respect and care for him.
147 E kids, my philosophy really goes back to my days of coaching sports. I will pretty much borderline abuse you when you come into my class . And then i f I see you picking on kids and e . Once those kids that are the worst have been here for awhile I break them. About two, three, four months in, they might get what come to my class. I broke them . Ron believed that he tried his best with his students. He gave them the structure and tough love he believed they needed each day. He was also keenly aware that he was unable to get through to every student, and not every student that entered his classroom w ould experience a favorable outcome. He described having learned to appreciate successes when he saw them, no matter how big, small, or seldom they happened. In those moments of success, he knew he had done something right. T he powerful moments are thos e few times we happen to run into somebody who left the program S omething as simple as that, that Voice of g rit As Ron reflected on the work he did with his students and the few and far be tween successes, I began to hear a second voice: the Voice of Grit. While the Voice of Coach illuminated the ways in which Ron believed he ran a tight ship at work, maintained full control, and was able to reach most of his students, he also spoke about un pleasant aspects of his work. He portrayed his JC school as a tough, gritty place where not just anyone could be successful as a teacher. Consequently, he had strong opinions regarding who was appropriate for work in this setting.
148 For me, you have to have a nasty streak. You can work in a public school Y ou got to have an edge here . To This made being a teacher in JC tremendously different than a more traditio nal public school teaching position, from his perspective. He felt that it would be nearly impossible for the same person to be appropriate as a teacher in both JC schools and more general public school settings. job in the public school system , or you might not be cut out for teaching work in the public school system. And most teachers in the public sch ool different type of kid , you know. They cuss you out, fight every day, this that , school system because students kno ou see that every day. nt type of kid here. He recalled watching a steady stream of teaching staff come and go from the JC school. He believed this stemmed from the fact that most of them had unrealistic expectations about what work was like in JC. In fact, the only time that I heard Ron speak about co workers was when he talked about how frequently they complained about the conditions at work or the ways in which he felt they were inappropriate for the job. I see a lot of people begin complaining here in this job. They com plain about textbooks and materials. They complain about discipline. To me, if forget, that you work in a jail. Ron asserted that he never complained about his work. His attitude was that if you chose to work in JC, you should expect that the conditions were going to be poor.
149 He believed that if you wanted better working conditions and more resources, you should work in a more prestigious school setting. If you chose to work in a JC school different type of school. In listening to the Voice of Grit, it seemed that both the st udents and teachers in JC schools were forgotten about and unimportant to the rest of society.. A lot of people, they get twisted and you got some people in this school that are prima donnas, and I think this I here teaching, obviously you qualify to work here to teach, not at Columbia, or Oxford, so quit acting. Ron also spoke specifically about the grit associated with the JC student populatio n. Although Ron portrayed across interviews that he felt competent and confident in his teaching ability, he still believed that this was one of the toughest populations. He believed teachers needed to adjust their expectations related to student behavior in JC. T hese students will just destroy you . I see it all the time. ome people, , ey my students you come tell them to person . last here, put it th at ou are either thinking about quit ting, going to run you never seen it wor k. The one time during the interview that Ron got emotional was when he recounted a challenging moment that had just occurred at school. He told me about a student that experienced great success during his time in JC. He did real well in the program, wa s qualified to work in the kitchen , and qualified for off campus visits , and was very respectful, always did his work .
150 Three days after he was released, he was shot and killed in a gang related incident while trying to purchase a gun illegally. Tears w told me the story. situations where you would have never guess ed it. But he was a gang member and you would have never had known. Real, real nice kid. Ron had to break the news to his students an d it startled him to see how detached the students were in the wake of this news. I mean they were upset, because you know, a lot of them knew the kid. But after on with their day. T detached from a lot of things . Plenty of other bad things happen to them throughout their lives, so that just adds on to the list. I noticed that Ron was able to move on to other topics of conversation in our interview quite quickly after sharing this emotional story, as well. It m ade me wonder if subconsciously he had to learn how to move on from difficult things just like his students because they were such a common occurrence in his work. return to the whole. What have I come to understand as a result of this process and what evidence supports my understanding? I reflect once more on the guiding research question: how do teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences working in the JC school setting? In the case of Ron, one of the most striking aspects of his story was not what he said, but rather what was left unsaid. First, he spoke very little about his colleagues. The only times he spoke about them was when he reflected on how inappropriate they were for work in JC schools. He never spoke about positive relationships or collaboration with co workers. Additionally,
151 Ron did not speak once about the school administration. Perhaps unknowingly, Ron positioned himse lf as a teacher in isolation that performed the same routines day in and day out. Second, although the majority of what Ron spoke about was within the context of how different JC schools and students were from traditional schools and students, he never spoke about any sort of training that he or other staff could or did receive prior to or during their tenure in JC. He had a very black and white attitude of individuals either being appropriate for the setting or not, end of story. ity to imagine remaining in JC schools for much longer was due to the fact that his experiences there were characterized as an experience in isolation and stagnation. He had not developed collaborative relationships with colleagues or administration, and had not engaged in any meaningful training that would push him to try new innovations or view his work or students from different perspectives. Instead, he felt like he had mastered the work and his chief concern was growing bored in the profession if he remained in the JC classroom for much longer. It was very clear that Ron was a proud man and prided himself in his tough love driven mentoring skills and the tight, consistent teaching routine he had in place for instruction. He was especially proud of his mastery of these skills in light of what a difficult setting he perceived JC to be for a teacher. Although the JC school setting was not for everyone, he believed that he had possessed the skills and disposition necessary to be effective there. Afte r completing his Listening Guide, a strong question that emerged for me was the tremendous potential that may have been lost as a result of the fact that Ron never
152 had the chance to develop and grow as a teaching professional. Based on his account, there w as no emphasis on collaborative relationships among colleagues in his school, no opportunities for meaningful professional development, and a lack of resources beyond old textbooks and worksheets from the Internet. How might Ron, the proud Coach and mento r, have been motivated by the successes that would likely have emerged as a result of these opportunities and resources? Instead of being someone with minimal expectations for himself, his colleagues, and his students and confident he would soon leave for other work, he may have become a leader in JC schools. Conclusion Included in this chapter were well documented and comprehensive individual Listening Guides for each of my five teacher participants. Interview excerpts were used frequently to illuminate a nd honor the voice of each teacher participant and ensure that they were heard. In the following chapter, I will discuss the new pre understanding about how teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences in their juvenile corrections sc that emerged as a result of the Listening Guide analysis for each teacher participant . I will also report on how the findings from this study contribute to the existing literature and extend it in terms of how to support and impr ove the experiences of teachers in JC schools and increase the chance that they will be effective and committed to remaining in their jobs.
153 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers understand their wo rking conditions in the juvenile corrections ( JC ) school setting. The guiding research question was: How do teachers understand ( make meaning of ; interpret ) their experiences in JC school working conditions? In Chapter 1, I introduced the study. In Chapt their working conditions and teacher working conditions in JC schools. In Chapter 3, I explained the theoretical lens and methodology, and I presented the findings in Chap ter 4. The purpose of this chapter is to report how the findings from the current study hermeneutic circle (1976), this discussion represents the new level of understanding tha studies. The Listening Guide analyses conducted for each teacher revealed both commonalities across the teachers and individual differences in how they understood their expe riences in JC schools (Brown & Gilligan, 1993; Gilligan et al., 2003). (1976) allowed new understandings about the experiences of teachers in JC schools to emerge. From these new understandings, I draw implications for researchers, JC school leaders, and other school based personnel. Finally, I provide suggestions for future research.
154 New Understandings: The Importance of Teacher Expectations The findings in this stu dy support scholars their working conditions appear to have a strong influence on how they experience their work and may function as barriers or facilitators of the work (e.g., Bryk et al., 2010; Johnson et al., 2010; Kraft et al., 2012) . In fact, t eachers who perceive their working conditions as overwhelmingly and consistently negative are likely to become disillusioned, burned out, and consider leaving their job s (Darby, 2008; Jakhelln, 2011; Kinman et al., 2011; Sch midt & Datnow, 2005; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011; Zembylas & Barker, 2007 ). The current study extended these findings by illuminating the their working conditions in JC schools were driv en by the expectations they held f or themselves and their work and t his profoundly influenced their daily experiences and broader career intentions . Teachers who se expectations were unmet either left or expressed intentions to leave: Sharon quit her job a s a JC school t eacher by the end of this study and Paul said he would have left his position had there not been a significant change in leadership and staffing. In contrast, the teachers whose working conditions aligned with their expectations for both t hemselves and the school had intentions to stay, or even advance into leadership roles: Linda envisioned staying involved in the school into her retirement because even with some challenges present, the JC school culture largely exceeded her expectations. She felt it was less stressful and offered more autonomy than the general public school setting; Paul felt a sense of rejuvenation once administration changed and Linda was hired; and Marie was on track to transition into the role of Principal at her schoo l after nearly ten years of positive experiences as a
155 teacher there. In the following sections, I describe the specific working conditions that settings and situate these fin dings in the relevant extant literature. Teaching Conditions and Reality of Working in JC Schools : The Role of Expectations Prior research has found that w hen teachers feel that expectations and norms of a school do not align with their own p ersonal expectations about school and students, they may experience negative emotions such as anxiety, confusion, and doubt; if these feelings are prolonged, teachers may grow detached from and increasingly dissatisfied with their work (Hargreaves, 2005; H ebson et al., 2007; The findings that emerged from this study for each teacher support previous research establishing how a mismatch between expectations B ased on the degree to which their current workplace experiences aligned with their expectations, the teachers in this study followed different trajectories in their work. For instance, Sharon found herself in a school community where both the students and her colleagues did not meet her expectations . She came into this job expecting that her colleagues would be committed to engaging in interesting and demanding instruction and so would her students. However, she began to see the students as recalcitrant a nd unmotivated, and her colleagues as unprofessional. As a result of this mismatch, she was frustrated, stressed, and felt an overwhelming sense of professional failure. She ultimately decided to quit her job by the end of the study. Ron was not as affe cted by the working conditions in his JC school . H is expectations for his students , his instruction , and the availability of resources and
156 support were in line with the reality of his school . He did not expect to need or receive a lot of instructional ma terials or support , nor did he have high expectations for his students. T herefore he seemed unbothered with the reality at work, even while it drove other teaching colleagues to quit: I see a lot of people begin complaining here in this job. They complai n about textbooks and materials. They complain about discipline. To me, if forget, that you work in a jail . Finally, Linda was pleasantly surprised by the students and expectations in her JC school. Prior to taking the job, Linda was in a public school where she struggled with mountains of paperwork and felt that she did not have autonomy to teach as she saw fit; she experienced less pressure related to student paperwork like IEPs; and she had e asy access to ongoing professional learning opportunities. She was so content with her teaching conditions that it allowed her to overlook the frustrations that she was experiencing working with the security guard assigned to her classroom. Linda was convi nced she would remain in the JC classroom even after retirement as a volunteer. S ocial S upport in JC S chools The findings from this study align with those from research conducted in regular school settings ( Zembylas & Barker, 2007; Jakhelln, 2011; Skaalv ik & Skaalvik, 2011) their work experiences. Teachers who experienced meaningful and supportive relationships with their colleagues in JC schools described themselves as having more energy, motivation, and a sense of secur ity even when school contexts present
157 significant challenges (e.g. problematic behavior, demographics; Demetriou et al., 2009; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011). When these relationships were absent, teachers were more likely to feel detached and unmotivated, and they were more likely to be overwhelmed by the negative influences of other working conditions. Consistent with previous research, findings from this study demonstrate that teachers the quality and degree of social support , namely their relationships and interactions with colleagues, influenced their satisfaction with teaching in a JC school and their career intentions . Further, social support acted as a protective factor mitigating some of the more negative and stressful aspects of being a JC teacher. In addition to working with punitive administrators and a very challenging student population, he op erated in isolation. Such conditions led him to believe he should quit. However, under a new administration and with Linda as a colleague, Paul described feeling a renewed sense of energy about work. Although his student population remained the same, hi s experience changed as a result of the new social resources Inner Circle era social support at work: very functional, very effective, goofy , and quirky team. These kids need it , W standards. W them. But we collaboration. Similarly, Marie thrived in what she perceived to be a challenging teaching role because of the strong, positive relationships she had with colleagues, both in her school and across the state. She cited those relationships as being a tremendous source of
158 assistance and camaraderi fifteen other people with a question and I can get information from them. C onversely , p rior research has indicated that when teachers feel less supported by their colleagues, they have greater feelings of isolation, detachment from their work, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction (Demetriou et al., 2009; Jakhelln, 2011; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2011; Zembylas & Barker, 2007), a finding confirmed in this study . For example, Sharon explained that she had once been highly motivated, but that she had drastically reduced her investment in planning and delivering effective instruction because of . She imagined the standards for performance would be higher with in a commu her to try new things. In the JC setting, she felt largely alone; others did not have her revealed the negative effects of feelings of isolation and anxiety that resulted from a lack of social support. Recall his description of arriving at work each day: see what kind of day you were going to have. It was that bad. It was tense, it was real tense, it was a lot of headaches, and you get out as around after your workday was officially done at all. Arriving into a toxic work environment each day with a lack of collegial relationships was completely alone in dealing with the challenges of a JC setting and consu med by a sense of dread as he pulled into the parking lot each morning for work.
159 Professional Learning Opportunities in JC S chools The quality of professional learning opportunities has a significant influence on teacher emotional well being (Darby, 2008 ; Lee & Yin, 2011; Ross et al. , 2012; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). Previous studies of professional development and schools as learning communities have demonstrated that high quality training, characterized by ased sense of confidence about implementing new and unfamiliar innovations (Darby, 2008; Ross et al., 2012; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). Further, these studies indicated that when schools move from being more negative and punitive environments to becoming lea rning communities, teachers seem to flourish and become more positive about their work situation. Improvement anxious and negative about their school a nd professional learning opportunities at school with each other and university col laborators in an effort to improve t heir instructional strategies and increase student achievement scores. The t eachers found this professional learning to be highly meaningful and useful. They believed that their teaching ability improved as a result of their professional learning, and felt a sense of pride and excitement as they witnessed the student academic gains that followed. professional learning opportunities. Paul and Linda were highly satisfied with the opportunities for professional learning under their new administration. Moreover, their administration was willing to provide financial assistance for pursuing external learning
160 opportunities. The new administration was also committed to ongoing support for collective professional learning at the school level. For example, Paul described meeting regularly with Linda and school leadership about implementation of Common Core standards. Although the work was challengin g, Paul felt rejuvenated by the opportunity to continue growing, and the ongoing teamwork helped him feel that he was capable of accomplishing his goals. With the new administration, he felt that he could now provide effective and meaningful instruction f or his students, as opposed to the meaningless game and movie Active opportunities to learn, however, are not enough. The professional development opportunities must be r or it is more difficult to establish buy in and implementation (Darby, 2008; Lee & Yin, 2011; Ross et al., 2012). Irrelevant and poorly aligned professional development efforts leave t eachers feeling as though they d o not have the skills to be successful or the time they need to make changes (Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). Further, when teachers have support from colleagues to implement what they are learning, they are more likely to succeed in using the new pr actices (Desimone, 2009; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005). development opportunities and support from colleagues to learn is important. For example, Sharon enjoyed professional development oppo rtunities, but she also experienced frustration because she was usually the only JC teacher in attendance. Additionally, even though she was interested in new practices, she did not know how to
161 realistically implement what she was learning in the JC class room and therefore never did. A lot of times you'll go away after a training and you take what you learn back to your school and your kids and the other staff kind of like, they take it down. So yeah, I'm sure a lot of times we feel energized or refreshe d when we go to the trainings but we can't implement that well. We would need to go to DJJ specific trainings for detention teachers or program based. I think what would probably help. Limitations There were several limitations to this study. First, the participants did not craft the ir Listening Guides narrative independently. A s the researcher , I played the primary role in the construction of their final narratives, which may have alter ed their interpretation of their work experience in unintended ways (Lewis, 2008). Second, the small sample size limit s the generalizability of findings to other JC school teachers. Finally, this study was ies to verbalize their understanding of their experiences. The depth a nd breadth of understanding that teachers chose to reveal and were able to share may have var ied across participants and across individual interview sessions. Rich descriptions were provided to allow readers to judge for themselves the degree to which the findings are applicable to other teachers and contexts. Implications Implications for Future Research with Teachers in Juvenile Corrections Schools The current study provides well documented and comprehensive portraits of five of their experiences in the working conditions within several JC schools ; however, much remains to be discovered about this important but largely unexplored area of study. More research is needed to help scholars understand how
162 teachers emotionally respon d to their working conditions in general, but particularly in the most challenging environments, such as JC schools. Pursuing this line of research should yield insight s about how different classrooms and school settings, in addition to different teacher a work. In turn, a more thorough understanding of how to support teachers can enable school leaders and policy makers to develop the working conditions that support f efficacy and their actual effectiveness in their efforts to serve students with significant challenges (Darby, 2008; Schmidt & Datnow, 2005; Zembylas & Barker, 2007). The ultimate goal of these positive changes is to help troubled students, such as thos e found in the JC school setting, reach their potential and become successful, contributing members of society. In particular, more qualitative research is needed to develop an in depth portrait of how service providers within JC school settings experienc e and interact within their work contexts. The results of this study suggest that hermeneutics and Listening Guide analysis may be a viable framework and analysis method for conducting such in depth explorations of the ways in which various teachers unde rstand (make meaning of; interpret) their experiences in JC schools . As such, it is a method worth utilizing again in efforts to continue to better understand working conditions in JC schools . For instance, future research could investigate Listening Guid e analysis across all teachers within a single setting and determine if findings from this study would be replicated. Teachers are also only one service provider within a JC school setting; students in JC also rely upon a myriad of other staff to be effective in working with them, including
163 security personnel, therapists, and administrators to provide them with a secure and beneficial experience. Gaining knowledge about way s in which all of these different service providers understand their experiences in JC schools could support JC administrators in cultivating systems that support these professionals in fulfilling their roles and collaborating productively with one another . Additionally, including classroom observation as a part of data collection is recommended for future studies. Collecting interview data provides insight into experien ces. Engaging in observations in conjunction with interviews would provide a source of triangulation and may aid teachers in their ability to recall their experiences in JC schools . Finally, qualitative studies could be used as the basis for developing instrumentation to use in survey studies. Survey research would enable researchers to comprehensive portrait of the nature of the social supports that teachers want and need to feel motivated and efficacious in their work in JC school settings. Implications for Supporting Teachers in JC Schools T eachers in JC are put in some of the most difficult situations and for all kinds of reasons ha ve the least support in figuring out how to teach in this setting ( DelliCarpini, 2008; Kvarfordt, Purcell, & Shannon, 2005; Mathur et a l., 2009; Mathur et al., 2010). School leaders in JC schools should carefully consider the results of this study in order to develop meaningful professi onal learning opportunities to support their teachers. Professional learning opportunities can serve as a vehicle to support teachers in develop ing realistic expectations for their work and empower them with academic and
164 behavioral management strategies to effectively support their students . In order for professional learning opportunities to be meaningful and the innovations to be sustainable (Bryk et al., 2010; Klingner, Boardman , & McMaster, 2013) . School leaders should offer setting appropriate collective professional learning opportunities focused on (a) effective instructional strategies and (b) facility wide positive behavior management strategies. First, teachers need acce ss to, and support in implementation of, appropriate instructional strategies and knowledge on how to adapt materials as needed for the JC setting in the core academic subject areas (DelliCarpini, 2008; Gagnon et al., 2012). Previous research has revealed that teachers in JC schools rarely use effective instructional strategies for students with disabilities (Maccini, Gagnon, Mulcahy, & Leone, 2006) and perhaps unsurprisingly, they do not feel confident about implementation either (DelliCarpini, 2008). Thi s study further illustrated those findings. It became clear that a common challenge for the group of teachers in this study was that they needed support in organizing and implementing instruction in this challenging instructional context . Furthermore, it became clear that it made a difference when all teachers in a school possessed a shared understanding of instructional strategies across classrooms. Second, evidence from this study supports recommendations from scholars that education and security person nel participate together in professional learning opportunities focused on addressing student behavior and safety issues through a system wide plan such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS; Gagnon et al., 2012; Horner, Sugai, Todd, and Lewis Palmer, 2005; Houchins et al.,
165 2006). A growing body of research indicates promising results stemming from PBIS implementation in JC schools (Nelson et al., 2009; Nelson et al.; Sidana, 2006). Although JC schools operate within broader corrections facilities, education and security seldom receive collective training . C onsequently , the punitive priorities and approaches favored by security personnel often clash with those favored by education personnel (Gagnon, Rockwell, & Scott, 2008; Leone & Weinb erg, 2010; Nelson, Jolivette, Leone, & Mathur, 2010) . To further complicate matters, both education and security personnel often possess little knowledge about effective behavior management practices (Houchins et al., 2004) and security personnel, often re quired to hold no more than a high school diploma, possess little to no knowledge about disabilities nor do they understand how disabilities may affect behavior (Kvarfordt et al., 2005; Nelson et al.). I n order to facilitate cohesive and effective JC sch ool operations, e ducation and security personnel must participate in collective professional learning opportunities (Houchins, Shippen, & Murphy, 2012; Gagnon et al., 2012; Leone & Weinberg, 2010 ). The professional learning opportunities that school leade rs offer must be designed to occur over a sustained period of time and allow for interactive learning among colleagues and with experts. This in turn allows time for the development of collegial relationships, to ensure that all personnel are operating un der a shared understanding and innovations are being implemented with fidelity, and to increase the likelihood that the new practices will be sustained over time (Mathur & Schoenfeld, 2010; Nelson et al., 2010). Conclusion This study contributes in dept h knowledge of how teachers understand (make meaning of; interpret) their working conditions in JC schools . Only a small number of
166 previous studies examined factors pertaining to teacher job satisfaction and attrition in JC schools ; this was the first stud y to ask teachers about their experiences in JC setting s . Prior to beginning their jobs, none of the teachers in this study knew JC schools even existed. Regardless, each teacher entered into this work with expectations for what teaching and student lear ning in a JC setting should look like in action. Without appropriate opportunities for professional learning and time to develop collegial relationships, it was these expectations that influenced their ability to carry out their duties in the classroom, a nd their commitment to the job. Findings from this study increase our understanding of JC teacher experiences and emotional responses to their working conditions . This new knowledge offers implications for how to support teachers working in JC schools, im prove their experience s, and increase the likelihood that this group of teachers will be effective and committed to their jobs .
167 APPENDIX A LIST OF DEFINITIONS B URNOUT Burnout is defined as a response to chronic emotional and interpersonal occupation re lated stressors. There are three primary components in burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment (Maslach & Goldberg, 1998). Emotional exhaustion, the stress component of burnout, occurs when a person feels dra ined from too many interpersonal conflicts and does not have enough time to replenish spent energy. Depersonalization, the interpersonal component of burnout, occurs when a person becomes detached or cynical at work. This is often a self protective respon se to emotional exhaustion. Detachment can evolve into dehumanization of co workers or students. The personal accomplishment component of burnout refers to reduced personal accomplishment and is characterized by a lessened sense of self efficacy. Like o ther human service professionals, teachers are at risk of burnout due to the intense interactions they engage in everyday with colleagues, parents, and students (Tsouloupas et al., 2010). E MOTIONS : Emotions represent reactions to a stimulus or an evalu ation of a stimulus in the surrounding environment (Fridja, 1988). E MOTIONAL WELL BEING : Teachers experience a sense of well develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships w ith others, and contribute to 2008, p. 10). Their emotional well being depends on the interaction between themselves and the social, cultural, and institutional environment in which they wo rk each day (Oatley, 1991; Hargreaves, 2002). J UVENILE CORRECTIONS (JC) SCHOOL : Schools that are situated in locked facilities where youth are confined and also attend school. There exist secure care facilities for detained (i.e., those awaiting adjudi cation, or settlement of their cases) and committed (i.e., adjudicated youth) (Sickmund, 2003) . L ONG TERM COMMITMENT FACILITY : A juvenile corrections facility that typically holds youth for nine ten months or as long as several years (Houchins et al., 20 10) S HORT TERM DETENTION A juvenile corrections facility that holds youth from a minimum of one day to a maximum of ninety days (Houchins et al., 2010)
168 FACILITY : W ORKING CONDITIONS : addressed orga nizational, interpersonal, and psychological components that were further comprised of seven aspects: (a) the physical features of the school structure itself and the resources and equipment it holds; (b) the organizational structure that defines authority , job descriptions, and workload; (c) the sociological features that define staff and student roles and characteristics, and how teachers experience their work; (d) the political features of the school, e.g. if and how teachers can participate in decision making and the degree of power they hold; (e) the cultural features of the school that define norms and values; (f) the psychological features of the work that motivate or exhaust teachers; and (g) the educational features such as policies and norms for as sessment and instruction and how that how teachers perceive their quality .
169 APPENDIX B RECRUITMENT AND INFORMED CONSENT FORMS
172 APPENDIX C INTERVIEW PROTOCOLS Interview One (an hour and a half) Interview One is a semi structured interview focusing on the collection of the career timeline they designed to this meeting to facilitate the conversation . Questions might include items such as: 1. Tell me about your timeline. Probes if necessary: 2. Why did you become a teacher? 3. Think back to when you began in the juvenile corrections school environment. What were your early days in this job like? 4. Tell me about your experience working in the juvenile corrections school environment. 5. Tell me about the social support you receive at work. 6. Tell me about the training you receive at work. 7. What are your goals as a teacher in juvenile corrections school environment? 8. 9. 10. elf?
173 Interview Two (one hour) Interview Two is a semi structured interview that seeks to examine how they reacted externally and felt emotionally in light of the moments and events that have moved and changed them at work. In the beginning of the interview session, I will review the preliminary career life story I have created as a result of interview one with the purpose of ensuring I have not misrepresented their ideas, missed any critical information, or need to remove anything. Questions mig ht include items such as: 1. Last time we met, we talked about your career life story. With that in mind, I want to talk about what stands out when you think about your experience as a teacher in a juvenile corrections school environment. 2 . What are th e moments and events in your work as a juvenile corrections teacher that have moved and changed you? 3. What are the highs and lows? 4. What are the lasting effects on you and your views of yourself as a teacher? 5. our juvenile corrections career life story? 6.
174 Interview Three (one hour) During Interview Three, I will review the analysis that emerged from the s interviews with the purpose of ensuring that I have accurately represented their story . Questions might include items such as: 1. What do you think of my analysis and representation of your life story as a teacher? 2. Is there anything important that has not been included in your life story? 3. Do you feel like this is a fair and accurate representation of yourself as a teacher in a juvenile corrections school? (Is there anything that you would like to add? Remove?)
175 APPEN DIX D PARTICIPANT CAREER TIMELINE EXAMPLE Career Timeline High School Era 1980 1984 Neighborhood odd jobs; mowing lawns, stacking wood, shoveling driveways, babysitting, anything to earn a buck. Clothing Store: Stock boy, shipping and receiving. McDonalds: Fast food cook. Army National Guard: Medic (went to boot camp after junior year in high school) Post High School Era 1984 1985 Army National Guard: Medic (went to medic training after graduation) Nursing Home : Certified Nurses Aide, worke American Red Cross: Mobile Unit Attendant, drove, set up, and tore down bloodmobiles The U.S. Army Years 1985 1988 Post 1: Records Room Clerk, STD Lab Tech, and Combat Patrol Medic Post 2: Line Medic, Evac uation Specialist The College Years 1988 1994 (part time, summer, and seasonal employment) Leary Roofing and Siding: Roofer National Park Service: Forestry Technician, Fire Crew Post College Years 1994 1996 U.S. Forest Service: Type I Fire Fighter C onn Pest Control: Pesticide Applicator Mountain Board and Brush: Carpenter and Painter Post Degree Certification Years 1996 1998 (return to college, teaching certification) Timber Marking Foreman
176 Public and Private Teaching Era 1998 2004 High School # 1: Remedial Physical Science Teacher High School #2 : Honors Physical Science, and Natural Resources Teacher (ESL) High School #3 : 7 12 Science and Math Teacher (56 students in entire district) P rivate, therape utic, all girls boarding school/High School #4: 9 12 Math and Science Teacher High School #5: Math Teacher (broke contract, left teaching for construction) Carpentry and Painting 2003 2008 Started and ran a small residential remodel and repair construction company. Returned to teaching when marr iage ended, and I needed a 40 hour workweek, to be a responsible Dad. Juvenile Detention Center 2008 Present Math and Science Teacher , Greenhouse Builder TA DA!
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187 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kristin Marie Murphy was born in Boston, Massachuset ts to Paul and Sharon Murphy. Kri stin was a Special Education Teacher for the New York City Department of Education for four years at P751M, Manhattan School for Career Development. She spent a fifth year working for the New York City Department of Education as a No Child Left Behind Pub . She earned a b p sychology from Ithaca College in 2003, a m degree in s pecial e ducation at Mercy College through a New York City Teac hing Fellowship in 2005, a m degree in risk and p reventi on research from Harvard University in 2008 , and a doctoral degree in special education from the University of Florida in 2014.