Examining the Interplay between Queerness and Teacher Wellbeing: A Qualitative Study Based on Foreign Language Teacher Trainers

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 20;18(22):12208. doi: 10.3390/ijerph182212208.

Abstract

Oftentimes, teachers who identify themselves as LGTBIQ+ may feel unsafe at work, which may upset their wellbeing and destabilize their key psychological traits. Hence, feelings such as insecurity, lack of self-confidence, anxiety, and fear are on loop in their everyday lives. Thus, in this study we pursued an examination of the interplay between sexual orientation and teacher wellbeing in a cohort of seven university foreign language teacher trainers in a Spanish context. To gain insight into this issue, a qualitative study in line with the ecological paradigm was designed for the elaboration of semi-structured in-depth interviews and for the analysis of results. The main findings display teacher wellbeing as a complex interwoven system in which sexual orientation had played a core role in their identities, competences, private and professional relationships, and in the cultural and political spheres. We conclude by stating that although homophobic discrimination was a hard trial to overcome, the psychosocial capital of the participants allowed them to transform this negativity into positive assets such as queer activism in their private and political lives and in their profession as foreign language teacher trainers.

Keywords: LGTBIQ+; foreign language; teacher trainers; teacher wellbeing.