Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies

Date of Defense

8-15-2018

Graduate Advisor

Dr. Matthew Davis

Committee

Dr. Thomasina Hassler

Dr. Carl Hoagland

Dr. Thomas Hoerr

Abstract

As a Black woman in the field of education, I feel as if I am not valued or seen as an equal member of the institution. This has been extremely evident as I served as an Instructional Coach in a predominately Black public school district where the teachers and administrators were predominately White. Race has come to the forefront as a prominent barrier for effective Instructional Coaching across the color line. In this dissertation, I reflect on my experiences as an Instructional Coach and analyze them through the lens of Critical Race Theory using autoethnography as a research method. My findings dive deeper into the invisibility and hypervisibility of being a lonely Black woman in the field of education as I serve as a pseudo supervisor. This is exhibited in three cornerstone counterstories- Duties, Copies, and Bathrooms: The Role of the Professional Mammy, Slumber Parties with the Principal, and Fighting for Stagnant Mobility: Working Twice as hard for Half as Much. Melissa Harris-Perry’s Crooked Room Theory and Joy DeGruy’s Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome are used to support the notion of changing one’s self to fit into a societal structure that does not welcome Black women. Like many Black women in professional settings, I have had to shift and cope to survive in an environment that does not recognize Black people as colleagues and uphold the Racial Contract. This dissertation exposes my raw thoughts and feelings as I was professionally discriminated against due to race and gender. I share some self-care suggestions and find solace among family and friends as I navigate my crooked room.

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