This IRB-approved and grounded in social semiotics theory micro-ethnographic case study was conducted within a longitudinal ethnography project and is focused on the teaching style of one veteran teacher in a public urban elementary school in the North-Eastern United States. The data in this qualitative micro-ethnographic case study were collected from multiple sources (e.g., field notes, observations, interviews, audio- and video-recordings). The interview data were analyzed using Saldaña’s (2013) thematic and value coding. The focus research participants’ verbal and non-verbal behaviors during her interactions with her students were analyzed in accordance with the micro-ethnographic research traditions. The above data were triangulated with the ones from the multimodal language analysis. This research found that teachers may set the goal and develop in themselves highly attractive for students so-called charismatic professional qualities.


best teacher qualities, charismatic teaching style, elementary school teaching, micro-ethnographic case study, multimodal language analysis

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Olga Gould-Yakovleva is an Assistant Professor of Reading at Eastern New Mexico University in the United States of America. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with concentration in Reading/Literacy from the State University of New York, University at Buffalo, USA. Prior to that, she earned her M.Ed. from Florida Atlantic University, USA. Dr. Gould-Yakovleva initially had her Dual Bachelor’s and Dual Master’s degrees in teaching ESOL and Foreign Languages. This Florida State Certified Educator (2008–2028) has had her life-long K-12 and university/college teaching experiences in the United States and internationally. Among Dr. Gould-Yakovleva’s interests are such fields as Educational Research, Qualitative Methods, Teacher Education, Multimodality, Teaching Reading & Writing, Children’s, and Adolescent Literature, Teaching Multicultural and International Students, Poverty Reduction through Education, etc. Please direct correspondence to olgagoul@buffalo.edu


As the final chord in this ode to the charismatic teaching style, I would like to add some quotes from the focus research participant, the veteran teacher Mrs. Diana Smith (pseudonym). Let these words sound like a covenant to generations of practicing teachers. Firmly and genuinely, Diana assured: I would never allow anything to happen to your child that I would not allow to happen to my child. I happened to have come from a life that wasn’t easy: I grew up with adoptive parents, both of whom were highly educated Ph.D. and drunks. I lost my daughter due to an illness and one of my sons due to suicide, so… I know where these kids are coming from. I learned very early in life that humor can defuse anything. You can learn so much better when you are laughing. When you corner the kids, they must fight back. They must. But when I made them laugh, I knew I’ve got them. I say to my student-teachers, “You have just to be you. Do what you can do best. And if you do not like what you are doing, get the heck out of it.” I come to school happy, I go home happy. It is the way I am.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

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







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.