‘In Our Daily Struggles’: Diaries as a Tool for Teacher Wellbeing

Lucy A Kelly*, Grace Huxford, Catherine J Kelly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


This article explores the connection between teachers, diary-writing and self-reflection in both historical and contemporary settings. It uses the insights of one pilot engagement project with present-day teachers, ‘Reimagining the Diary’ (2018-19), to explore the longue durée history of reflective writing within the teaching profession and to highlight the current problems facing teachers and educationalists looking to use self-reflection as a tool for improving ‘well-being’. This article is deliberately interdisciplinary and problem-focused, using insights from historical studies, law, medicine and education to explore the current teacher-retention crisis in the UK and the relevance of life-writing and reflection to it. It suggests that, whilst more research is necessary, engaging professionals with the form of the diary can itself be beneficial, as can using creative, context-specific forms of life-writing. In this way, this article uses the changing relationship between teacher and diary to explore wider shifts in self-reflective practice and selfhood.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLife Writing
Early online date24 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2020


  • education
  • diary
  • time
  • self-reflection
  • creativity


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