Language is crucial in situating our selves and others. Discursive patterns create alliances or factions, establish hierarchies, and subjugate individuals or groups. In this autoethnographic study, I consider how I, as a White woman teaching art, participate in, maneuver, and manipulate spoken and unspoken racialized discourses within the context of a high school with a diverse population of students. Through the data collection process of journaling over one school year, I recorded reflections on conversations, speeches, and written communication with, between, and regarding teachers, students, parents, and school administrators.
I employed discourse analysis on these texts and draw upon Critical Race Theory and Whiteness Studies to examine the discourses that govern the school and inform its social conventions as manifested in my professional identity as it intersects with various collegial spaces. I also show the value in performing an autoethnography as a way to evolve as a social justice educator and scholar as well as a means to give voice to teachers’ stories so that we can render visible the way radicalized discourses and discords they create can shape the daily practice of teaching art.