"They Don't Like Me, They Tolerate Me": Tres Maestras Narrate the Public School Experience in a Rural Texas Community: An Autoethnographic Study




Torres, Sara

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In this study, I engaged community learning exchange (CLE) as a worldview, an epistemological approach to research, practice, and a bridge that builds a connection between school and communities of practice. In this auto-ethnographic study, I explored the oral histories of three generations of Latina Texas public-school teachers in the same family spanning over 60 years. To make sense of their collective experiences as teachers in a small rural Southwest Texas town I used the theory of change, which provides an alternative worldview that moves from traditional educational conditions and approaches to an asset-based worldview. This work’s generative nature gives us an action approach that serves as a tool to reflect on the past as an eye is kept to the future work, growth, and development enacting a way of life. Stories, testimonios, and collective reflections emerged as powerful tools during three pláticas focusing on each of the ecologies of knowing the self, organization, and community. This study honors the power of place and the wisdom of people through aligning data and observables. Exploring educational environments' conditions through the researchers' eyes, their educational politic that advocated for change, their anatomy of critical consciousness, and what good citizenry looked like and felt like allowed for movement from storytelling to storymaking. These are the stories made when the historically observed become the observers allowing educators, educational leaders, and community members to bear in mind the urgency of disrupting the current public-school systems that have prevailed through generations.



auto ethnography


Torres, S. (2021). "They don't like me, they tolerate me": Tres maestras narrate the public school experience in a rural Texas community: An autoethnographic study (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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