I apply a critical theoretical lens enmeshing the concepts of haunting and performativity to explore how teacher identity is materialised through the sharing of stories within qualitative, empirical research, and how this sharing can be interpreted as a calling forward of ghosts that inhabit memories. This is accomplished through an analysis of educational narratives derived from twelve semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted with teachers working in England. Inspired by the quote from a teacher which is shared in the title of this article; “these ghosts came back to haunt me”, the narratives offered are interpreted as haunted by individual past histories and experiences of education as well as the ghosts of others. This analysis is made to consider the implications of these haunted stories in terms of how they shape the ways individuals materialise their professional identities within conversations. I conclude with a consideration of how haunting can be understood as more than a concept or theoretical lens, but as a central aspect to narrative life history as a qualitative research methodology.
- narrative life history
- teacher identity