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English language arts scholarship has suggested literacy classrooms should be inclusive of both teachers’ and students’ grief and loss experiences; however, teachers’ grieving experiences remain understudied. This article analyzes seven in-depth interviews in order to understand ELA teachers’ experiences of teaching while grieving a death, finding that ELA teachers navigating personal loss perceived particular rules for fulfilling relational work in teaching: hiding certain negative emotions, navigating the teacher role, and foregrounding students’ learning needs. Creating ELA classrooms inclusive of trauma and loss experiences requires teacher educators to attend to the interplay of teachers’ conceptions of relational work and their experiences and emotions related to loss.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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