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Teachers’ emotion regulation in the team-taught classroom: Insights into teachers’ perspectives on how to regulate and communicate emotions with regard to the team teaching partner
F. Muehlbacher, G. Hagenauer, M. M. Keller

Teachers’ emotion regulation in the team-taught classroom: Insights into teachers’ perspectives on how to regulate and communicate emotions with regard to the team teaching partner

Frontiers in Education, 7, [787224]

An important facet of teachers’ competence is their ability to regulate their emotions in the classroom in an adaptive manner. Recently, the advantages of teacher collaboration have sparked novel educational practices, such as team teaching, where two teachers are responsible for classroom teaching. Within this setting of complex interactions, not only students but also partner teachers are additional sources of teachers’ emotions and ensuing emotion regulation strategies. How team teachers choose to regulate and communicate their emotions, triggered by their team partners, may have significant consequences for collaborative practices and teacher well-being. Based on the process model on emotion regulation and the concepts of co- and shared regulation, the present study aimed to enhance our understanding of team teachers’ perspectives on how to regulate and communicate emotions. To this end, a qualitative interview study was conducted among 30 Austrian team teachers teaching in lower secondary schools. The results of a structuring qualitative content analysis revealed that team teaching is an educational practice that requires high amounts of emotion regulation. It was shown that team teachers regularly use strategies such as attentional deployment or reappraisal to prevent the experience of negative emotions. Team teachers’ rules regarding displays of emotion stipulated that positive emotions can be authentically shown, while negative emotions must be suppressed in front of students. Engaging in discussion with the partner teacher after class is frequently used to handle negative experiences. By making use of co- and shared regulation of emotions (e.g., situation modification), teachers also exploit the potential of team teaching concerning emotional support and workload relief. Encouragement, (shared) praise, and shared humor were also considered to be useful strategies to maintain positive emotions in order to foster successful collaboration. Implications concerning adaptive emotion regulation to foster fruitful team teaching practices are discussed.