Frontline Workers from Home: A Feminist Duoethnographic Inquiry of Mothering, Teaching, and Academia during the Initial Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic
AbstractIn this article, we use a feminist lens to discuss and critique the unique challenges associated with our multidimensional identities as Ontario elementary schoolteachers, mothers, and academics. Employing a duoethnographic method, we recount our personal lived experiences of mothering, teaching, and academic related tasks during initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. We juxtapose our experiences at home, in our combined identities and roles, with the various levels of expectations set upon us. From the teaching front, these expectations include those from the government, school boards, and educational administration. On the academic front, there are the hidden expectations of writing and publishing, and being productive during mandated down time. At home, there are increases in domestic labour, caring for children and, for one of the authors, homeschooling. Taking into account the “Learn at Home” program, mandated synchronous learning, Ontario’s provincial approach to reopening schools for the 2020–2021 school year, and the literature on motherhood and academia, this article explores the nuanced experiences, barriers, and challenges that we encountered at the beginning and throes of the pandemic and into the unknown. The dialogic analysis of our experiences is rooted in feminist understandings of motherhood, teaching, and academia; it highlights the gendered issues of domestic and precarious labour, paid labour, caregiving, and mandatory social isolation.
All intellectual property in relation to material included on this site belongs to the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI). All material on this site is protected by Canadian and international copyright and other intellectual property laws. Users may not do anything which interferes with or breaches those laws or the intellectual property rights in the material. All materials on the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, sale, distribution, display or exploitation of the information, in any form or by any means, or its storage in a retrieval system, whether in whole or in part, without the express written permission of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) is prohibited. Please contact us for permission to reproduce any of our materials. This site may include third party content which is subject to that third party's terms and conditions of use.