An exploration of the emotional dimensions of teachers' work.
This study is an exploration of the emotional dimensions of teachers’ work. The study sought to understand the emotional experiences of high school teachers in the type of work they do at school. The research design adopted for the study was that of a qualitative approach, accompanied by an interpretive paradigm. This allowed for the researcher to be able to gather rich, detailed data within real contexts of each participant to allow for the interpretation of emotions that each participant experiences. There was six participants in this study. Each of the participants are from diverse school contexts, two of whom teach at the same school. The study was underpinned by a conceptual framework that focused on the conceptualization of feelings and a theoretical framework that comprised of seven theories of emotions. These theories were namely the Social Constructionist theory, Naturalistic theory of emotion, James-Lange theory, Cannon-Bard theory, Two-Factor theory, Broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions and the cognitive theory of emotions. The conceptual and theoretical framework assisted the researcher in understanding and interpretation of teachers’ emotions. A case study methodology with six participants was employed to derive insight on teachers’ emotional experiences. Participant selection was conducted using the purposeful sampling technique. The instruments used in the collection of data were individual semi-structured interviews and a focus group interview which comprised a group of all six teachers. The interviews were audio-recorded to prevent loss of information and to ensure that it would be available for analysis. The findings are organised under headings: what consists of teachers’ work and what are the emotions involved in such work. Further sub-headings were used to represent the data. Findings revealed that teachers were found to be involved in administrative work, extracurricular activities, learner management and leadership at school. Various emotions in teachers’ work ranged from positive to negative feelings were discovered in the data. It was found that teachers felt great dissatisfaction and frustration towards non-teaching tasks at school. Positive feelings towards teachers work were attributed to learners’ success, acknowledgement, and when teachers were rewarded or appreciated for their work. Findings provide key insights into teachers’ work and emotional experiences.