This article explores experiences that have influenced my choices for becoming a teacher and then researcher. I used autoethnography as a research method to explore significant moments in my life during the years of both my primary and secondary education. The cumulative power of these life vignettes have been researched to understand the diverse emotional, complex and multilayered experiences of my formative years of childhood and how such emotions may have shaped my career choices and who I am at this very moment. This paper meticulously collected artifacts such as personal photos, newspapers, transcribed recordings of moments of intense emotions and memories as sources of data that supported a journey of growth. These data were analysed using thematic analysis and compared with my own written recollections, together with visual representations of emotions found in photographs of my life journey. Findings of this study revealed a journey of “self” that has explored and documented an understanding of the motivations of myself as a teacher-researcher to become the person I am. Today, my intrinsic interest in emotional intelligence area of research motivated me to explore the genesis of my own experiences and successes. In this autoethnography I become a learner, analysing my life data searching for themes such as self-awareness, perseverance, resilience, empathy, motivation and social skills, all found in the repertoire of a person’s emotional intelligence.


Emotional Intelligence (EI), Emotional Growth, Perseverance, Resilience

Author Bio(s)

Marcela is currently completing her Doctoral studies in Education at Monash University, Australia. As a teacher of English she has worked in a variety of contexts teaching English as a second language in both Chile and internationally. Her PhD research explores the identification, understanding and knowledge of Emotional Intelligence skills in pre-service teacher education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: marcela.gallardolazo@monash.edu.

Dr. Maria Gindidis is currently a Senior Lecturer. She coordinates and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate teacher education units at Monash University, Australia. Her research and teaching foci are Brain-based learning, Student Engagement, School Leadership and Bilingual Education. Her PhD research involved marginalised teachers’ experiences in community language schools. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: maria.gindidis@monash.edu.


I would like to thank my doctoral supervisor Dr Maria Gindidis for her constant support, persistence and advice in writing this article. I would also like to thank CONICYT Becas Chile for funding my doctoral studies. Last but not least, I am enormously thankful to my husband, Leonardo, for his support, love and emotional encouragement to continue with this challenging academic journey. This piece of writing is dedicated to you both, Leonardo and my son Valentino.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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