Teacher resilience refers to an individual teacher’s ability to navigate various challenges and difficulties they face at work by using the available resources. Resilience also covers social aspects, such as personal, familial, and work relationships, providing a strong support network. A teacher needs to manage their emotional state, mental health, and physical and social well-being as the work can negatively impact these key factors. BRiTE consists of five modules: building resilience, relationships, wellbeing, taking initiative, and emotions (“BRiTE,” n.d.). The building resilience module explains the building element, while the relationships module talks about the importance of creating healthy and strong interpersonal relationships.
Well-being corresponds to the need to maintain one’s health, physical, mental, and social. Taking initiative talks about the importance of making the first step, and finally, the emotions module teaches about the importance of dealing with strong emotions connected to stress and work. These modules correspond to various aspects of teacher resilience and create a healthy outlook on the work challenges. Resilience is an essential element of a teacher’s professional career, and building it helps maintain healthy relationships, and well-being and overcome any potential challenges the work might present.
A teacher’s career is a stressful occupation that demands a significant amount of responsibility, diligence, and social skill. Teachers’ primary responsibility is to help their students learn the necessary knowledge, overcome obstacles, and reach new heights of their abilities. Nevertheless, while teachers are mainly responsible for the study part of their student’s life, they also often need to act as caretakers, supporting their students educationally and in the psychological element.
It is especially relevant for teachers working with young students who require more guidance and care than older pupils. Such occupation demands a lot from teachers: they need to be mediators, guardians, leaders, and more. When they are not dealing with their students, they might be interacting with other fellow teachers or parents. The world’s advancing at enormous speed with global online communication is now creating both obstacles and benefits for both students and teachers, which can be another stressful element, especially for the older generation of teachers who are still grasping the basics of new technologies and online social networks.
Some people see the key to solving these issues as having a strong motivation for the work, such as money or passion. Monetary reward, while important, can hardly solve the burnout issue. Some level of individual interest in the profession itself may be necessary, yet passion is hardly a solution either. Even people who love their job can become depressed. Passionate people are more likely to feel burnout than those who approach their work more neutrally as they put everything into the work without considering their wellbeing (Horwood et al., 2021). It is essential to know one’s limits and respect them; otherwise, it becomes easy to overstep the line and lose all interest and enthusiasm for one’s work (Schussler et al., 2018).
Overzealousness negatively impacts one’s mental health, even when it is channeled at a helpful target. Thus, although it is beneficial and motivating, passion cannot be the only driving factor when dealing with issues at work. Motivation does play an essential role in maintaining a healthy mindset and attitude towards the job, nevertheless.
Teachers need to keep in mind the goal of their work, its effect on students and the new generation, and its importance. Even if it is difficult, remembering how important their job is can be a good motivator that does not put them in an emotionally compromised state. Building a support system through friends, family, and co-workers is another essential step toward overcoming job-related issues (Schussler et al., 2018). Ainsworth and Oldfield (2019) highlight that while individuals’ work satisfaction can vary significantly among teachers, their support at work and home plays the most significant role in overcoming the negatives (p. 125). This element can seem out of the teachers’ reach, as they cannot be fully responsible for their entire environment.
When all these elements are considered, it becomes clear why resilience is a necessary subject. Teachers need to learn how to cope and deal with the stress and obstacles at work and even at home. Teachers can quickly become overwhelmed, stressed out, and de-motivated without a strong support system or unique ways to deal with their issues. Depression, fatigue, and frustration are common outcomes, which in turn influence the quality of their work.
It might negatively impact the students, and that goes against the purpose of a teacher’s job. BRiTE system presents teachers with helpful modules that let them understand their weaknesses, strengths, and available solutions (Beltman et al., 2018). The modules highlight four dimensions a teacher needs to consider: social, motivational, emotional, and professional (“BRiTE,” n.d.). A resilient teacher needs to be open to advice, build a stable support system, be confident in their work, emotionally balanced, and stay organized person (“BRiTE,” n.d.). A person who can balance these elements will be able to deal with the obstacles and overcome stress in a mindful, prosperous, and resilient manner.
Without previous work experience or a support system, beginning teachers are more likely to be overwhelmed with new responsibilities once they enter the work field. Pre-service teachers need to be prepared for their future jobs and the issues they will face, and build a solid support system among friends, family, and future co-workers. Therefore, it is necessary for them to learn how to do so early in their career. It is a time when they can self-reflect on their abilities to overcome and deal with stress before being put into the working environment. While the future job might seem intimidating, it is a period when they can begin their resilience-building early, before they have to juggle work, personal life, and health matters together.
Resilience is an essential element in a teaching career, as it helps the person manage stress and navigate their work in a healthy, balanced, and mindful manner without compromising wellbeing. Teachers deal with many social, professional, and emotional issues during their work, so learning to cope with them reasonably becomes necessary. BRiTE modules present teachers with simple yet detailed explanations of what resilience is and how to build it.
They focus on building relationships, learning psychological self-care, emotional stability, and a positive, active outlook at work and in life. Resilience-building is especially relevant for pre-service teachers who are yet to work in the field and have time to make the support system they will need in their teaching career. Building resilience helps teachers overcome obstacles and do their job without compromising either quality or individual wellbeing.
Ainsworth, S., & Oldfield, J. (2019). Quantifying teacher resilience: Context matters. Teaching and Teacher Education, 82, 117-128. Web.
Beltman, S., Mansfield, C. F., Wosnitza, M., Weatherby-Fell, N., & Broadley, T. (2018). Using online modules to build capacity for teacher resilience. In Resilience in Education (pp. 237-253). Springer, Cham. Web.
BRiTE. (n.d.). Building Resilience in Teacher Education – BRiTE. Web.
Horwood, M., Marsh, H. W., Parker, P. D., Riley, P., Guo, J., & Dicke, T. (2021). Burning passion, burning out: The passionate school principal, burnout, job satisfaction, and extending the dualistic model of passion. Journal of Educational Psychology. Web.
Schussler, D. L., Greenberg, M., DeWeese, A., Rasheed, D., DeMauro, A., Jennings, P. A., & Brown, J. (2018). Stress and release: Case studies of teacher resilience following a mindfulness-based intervention. American Journal of Education, 125(1), 1-28. Web.