Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

12-2-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Chris Jenkins, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

John D'Aguanno, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Audrey Rabas, Ed.D.

Keywords

autoethnography, grief, loss, mourning, death, bereavement, educators

Abstract

This study sought to understand how grief and loss affected me on a personal and professional level. Additionally, the process of grief and loss and its effects on teacher performance was examined. The death of a loved one often leaves a person feeling a great deal of emotions. As an educator, it is incredibly difficult to process grief and loss at work due to the demands of working with students all day. Nine participants were recruited for this study and I used semi-structured interviews to discover more about the experiences of these educators while they dealt with the loss of a loved one at work. The findings of this study discovered five themes: (a) Lack of Support and Resources, (b) Non-Empathetic Displays of Action, (c) Lack of a Designated Grieving Space, (d) Physical and Mental Stress of Death, and (e) Performance Pressures due to Lack of Grieving Time. The experiences of the stories shared in this study hope to provide insight on how educators navigate through their personal pain and how the school community can offer increased support through these difficult times. This study is significant because it may provide school leaders with necessary information to bring about reformative that is necessary to offer educators greater support at work when dealing with the death of a loved one.

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