SURVIVING AND THRIVING: A NARRATIVE INQUIRY INTO THE LIVES OF FIVE FILIPINA TEACHERS IN A U.S. URBAN SCHOOL DISTRICT
Nones-Austria, Maria Dolores
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This study centers five Filipina non-native English speaking (NNES) teachers, who teach English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). It explores how we construct our identities as persons and as teachers who are surviving and thriving in one U.S. public urban school district. This study emphasizes the meanings of our experiences as language learners and as ESOL teachers in relation to our identity construction, and highlights the effects of cultural, linguistic and interpersonal elements on our identity transformation. The specific purpose of this study is to seek alternatives to (1) develop and enrich our understanding of the diverse learning and teaching journeys of Filipina NNES ESOL teachers that Mid-Atlantic Public Schools (MAPS) hired between 2005 and 2006, (2) understand and co-construct our identities as supported and marginalized, (3) look at other Filipina NNES ESOL teachers to juxtapose their experiences to my own, as a person with an insider/outsider perspective, and (4) to use our narratives to inform MAPS and other U.S. school district's efforts to recruit, support and retain Filipino teachers as well as other international teachers. Through narrative life history interviews, email follow-up interviews, informal conversations, and questionnaires, the study explored Filipina NNES ESOL teachers' experiences of becoming and being ESOL teachers in MAPS. The study hopes to encourage local and state policy makers and curriculum developers to design professional development plans for Filipino teachers, and to encourage researchers to do further research on the lived experiences of other K-12 international teachers; which may include groups such as Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Hispanic, Indians, Nigerians, Jamaicans, etc. through additional qualitative research designs like case study, portraiture and ethnography.