Taking a functionalist small stories approach, we conceptualize and study teacher identity as theatrical performance of self. From that perspective, we ask: What identity work do small stories do for teachers in literacy classrooms? How do interlocutors use available resources - including curricular resources, small-scale discursive resources, and circulating master narratives/storylines about how the world is - to accomplish that identity work through small stories? Analyzing a focal small story event in an urban US middle school English classroom, we show how a teacher (a) mobilized human and non-human story characters to perform being owner of the classroom territory, (b) appropriated a micro-discursive routine in the classroom, the IRE sequence, to accomplish that performance of self, and (c) construed a reality, a naturalized set of assumptions about the social order of the classroom, by recruiting assumptions available in more broadly circulating cultural master narratives about teachers, students and classroom discipline. Combining layers of small story analysis allows us to trace teacher identity through locally enacted, interactionally negotiated performances.