This autoethnography offered an opportunity to have an open conversation to explore the nature of the long-term relationship with my mentor, Mr. Jiang, who has guided me to grow since I was a high school student. With confidence being a significant theme, our interaction has changed along with my growth from a boy to an independent adult man, a teacher, and now, a doctoral student. Feelings between us have been complicated and featured as puzzled, doubtful, hurt, happy, guilty, and moved. The nature of the relationship is challenging to define accurately, but it is similar to a father/son-like mutually beneficial mentoring relationship. Mr. Jiang grew as a teacher; I grew as a man. Thanks to this autoethnography, he said, “Sometimes it’s destiny that two people meet and recognize each other. I have had so many students but have only met one Si.”


father/son-like mentoring, growth, confidence, autoethnography, male

Author Bio(s)

Si Chen (ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9816-5943) is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership at William & Mary School of Education. His research interests include classroom assessment, performance assessment, social justice in education, and teacher education. Please direct correspondence to schen15@wm.edu


The author would like to thank Dr. Judi Harris for her support and guidance on this autoethnography. The author also thanks Dr. Ting Huang, Dr. Grace Giorgio, and Dr. Stephanie McGuire for their insightful feedback.

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