Language Acts and Worldmaking
London, November 2018
Presenter: Sarah Mercer
Title: Colouring the rainbow of teacher emotions for wellbeing
Abstract: Teaching and learning are inherently emotional. While a considerable body of research has addressed the nature of learner emotions, the emotional world of language teachers remains woefully underexplored. Yet, we know that teacher emotions can be absolutely defining for themselves and their learners through processes of contagion, and vice versa. The focus of this talk is on teacher emotional wellbeing. For teachers to be able to teach to the best of their abilities, they need to be in the best possible state of mind. The key to this is their sense of wellbeing and job satisfaction. In this talk, we discuss what these constructs mean and what factors contribute to them. We focus on the full range of emotions that teachers experience in their professional roles – the stresses, the frustrations but also the uplifts and joys. We consider how teachers can regulate their emotions managing the emotions that threaten wellbeing and savouring those which promote it. The talk will report on research and link to practical examples giving participants the opportunities to reflect and discuss their own personal experiences in relation to emotional wellbeing and self-regulation. All teaching involves sunny days and rainy days. It is hoped this talk will help participants to find ways to manage the balance and colouring of their own emotional rainbows as educators.