My story is my impact: a self-examination of personal resiliency and experiences in engaging vulnerable learners
This paper takes an autoethnographic approach towards inquiring into the relationships I had with my teachers during the most vulnerable years of my youth, and the impact those adults had on the development of my lifelong resiliency. The passion, leadership, and subtle strength modeled to me by the teachers I most remember from my time in school has shaped who I am as a person, and as an educator. By examining the importance of teacher impact on my personal story, I come to understand key characteristics in some teachers who stood out as conduits for improving the coping strategies I had at my disposal, as well as how those characteristics have translated into my own beliefs and practices as a middle school teacher. Finally, while many of the stories shared are my own and have been altered only when the identity of another needed to be protected, some are also carefully constructed based on many students whose struggles with resiliency have stood out for me over the years. Their many truths have been combined into snapshots of fiction so that the reader might better understand the scope of our impact as educational professionals.