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This chapter asks, “What is it like to be a public school teacher in a school that doesn't allow for adequate bathroom breaks?” Using van Manen's interpretive phenomenological methodology, the authors analyzed interviews from nine participants to create an empathetic portrayal of teachers who have inadequate bathroom breaks. These experiences were then distilled into a series of insights through the concept of “broodmothering.” These broodmothers deny their own physical and mental needs in the interest of supervising children, and show a profession burdened by increasing parentification and dehumanization of teachers. After connecting this phenomenon to larger issues in the profession, the authors also posited potential solutions for educational decision makers to provide an environment that helps these “broodmothers” leave their proverbial nests.

This article was published using the CCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund through a Transformative Agreement with IGI-Global. The article was first published in the journal Phenomenological Studies in Education. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-8276-6.ch009

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.