Why They Sat Still: The Ideas and Values of Long-Serving Teachers in Challenging Inner-City Schools in England

Sep. 20, 2010

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 16, Issue 5, 2010, p. 595 - 614.

This paper describes the working lives of long-serving teachers in three high-poverty urban schools in England.

In a climate in which teaching is tightly controlled and suffering from problems of retention and recruitment, the teachers discuss intensely personal and emotional commitments to their work-place.

Qualitative in-depth interviews with 20 long-serving teachers, all of whom had management responsibilities, are used to explore their lives and careers. Within the stories of their professional lives, the teachers talk about the emotional dimensions of their work and the emotional ties of their 'work-place'.

The paper concludes that recognition of the emotional dimensions within teachers' work at an official level could go some way to helping with recruitment and retention in schools facing challenging circumstances.

Updated: Jun. 18, 2011