Facilitating teachers’ reflections on their affect 18 months after the February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake
This article presents a subset of findings from a larger mixed methods CEISMIC1 funded study of twenty teachers’ earthquake experiences and post-earthquake adjustment eighteen months after a fatal earthquake struck Christchurch New Zealand, in the middle of a school day (Geonet Science, 2011; O’Toole & Friesen, 2016). This earthquake was a significant national and personal disaster with teachers’ emotional self-management as first responders being crucial to the students’ immediate safety (O’Toole & Friesen, 2016). At the beginning of their semi-structured interviews conducted eighteen months later, the teachers shared their earthquake stories (O’Toole & Friesen, 2016). They recalled the moment it struck in vivid detail, describing their experiences in terms of what they saw (destruction), heard (sonic boom, screaming children) and felt (fright and fear) as though they were back in that moment similar to flashbulb memory (Brown & Kulik, 1977). Their memories of the early aftermath were similarly vivid (Rubin & Kozin, 1984). This article focuses on how the mood meter (Brackett & Kremenitzer, 2011) was then used (with permission) to further explore the teachers’ perceived affect to enlighten their lived experiences.