Today I imagine writing a book about teachers who are mothers.  There are many books about motherhood and the dilemma of work: “Maternal desire,” “Fruitful,” and “The Mommy wars.  Are there any specifically about teachers?  This is important because our teachers are often mothers, and teaching is such an underpaid and overworked job, especially the teaching of writing—time consuming grading of papers, more so than math scan trons.  Are there articles about this?  Can I ask a librarian to help me find these? 

I could do case studies of the teachers who are mothers in our “family” and the ones who have chosen to stay home with their children.  I think we have a fascinating bunch of folks to interview, to hear their voices in writing.  What about fathers’ voices too?  What about the pressure to provide for family that moves so many men into higher education, into administration, away from teaching?  Low pay.  Long hours.  The impact of low pay and long hours on both education of all children and teacher health.  Cost to America if we don’t pay teachers more, give good maternity leave, believe and invest in the training of teachers as professionals.    

Then I start thinking about research methods.  What are my interview questions? 

Why did you choose to become a teacher?

 Why did you choose to apply to the Writing Project?

 Why did you choose to become a parent? 

 How did your life change when you became a parent? 

 How did your teaching change when you became a parent? 

 What things are more difficult than you imagined about being a teacher and parent?

 What things are more easy than you imagined about being a teacher and parent?

 What was your maternity (paternity leave) experience like?

 Are you comfortable talking about your finances as a parent who teaches? 

 How have finances affected your choices as a parent?

 How have finances affected your choices as a teacher?

 Some general title:  “Parent Teachers” “Teacher Parents”

Would it work to have Focus groups talking about these questions after a meal?  Individual interviews? 

I could do 10 dinners with 5 people each. 

 I could have representative quotes from Fruitful, Maternal Desire, and The Mommy Wars as well as other articles specifically about  teaching and parenting.         

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