Treading the Waters of Motherhood and Academia During a Pandemic

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education (ACE2021)
Title: Treading the Waters of Motherhood and Academia During a Pandemic
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Adrianne Verla Uchida, Nihon University, Japan


When universities across the globe began canceling classes and sending students home mid-term, I was facing the completion of my maternity leave and a return to full-time academia at a Japanese university. Additionally, I was a first-time mother to a lively and needy infant. As universities across Japan began announcing the move to online courses, I had the best intentions of getting ahead by adapting my syllabi to be conducive for online learning by researching applications and software to help prepare the first few weeks of materials for synchronous and asynchronous learning, in addition to completing a grant proposal. Then the daycares closed. As my daughter’s main caregiver I tried to juggle everything. Needless to say, I began to experience what Munn-Giddings referred to as "a lethal cocktail", or the "mixing [of] motherhood and academia", (1998, p. 56). This phenomenological study will use narrative inquiry and reflective practice to examine the challenges and implications of being a first-time mother while making the transition to emergency remote teaching during Covid-19. The impact that continuous professional development through engaging in communities of practice had on my language teacher identity and teaching practices during that time will also be explored.

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