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In order to become a successful educator, resilience must be possessed. Resilience contains the ability to adapt to change or bounce back in difficult situations and is necessary for one’s personal and professional growth, especially for future educators (Beltman, Mansfield & Price, 2011). For pre-service teachers, resilience is highly needed as it provides them with the ability to grow stronger from difficult experiences and continue in teaching effectively (Beltman, S. 2015). Due to the high-demands of education and how important and influential the career is, it takes tremendous amounts of motivation and strength to push through and succeed. The poor efforts of a teacher who struggles in being resilient will additionally struggle outside of work due to this weakness resulting in low personal wellbeing and burnout, which may reflect in the students’ learning and the educator’s overall quality of life. Being resilient comes with challenges that must be faced and can additionally be conquered through focusing on one’s work-life balance, self-efficacy, support networks and new relationships in the new workplace. Resilience is socially constructed and can additionally be moulded and further developed through personal and contextual resources into a very essential skill that is needed in order to be a successful educator (Beltman, S. 2015). The demands of teaching and maintaining strength to avoid burnout can be difficult as challenges arise from different contexts in which individuals live and work (Beltman, S. 2015). Such contexts also provide resources that can support the capacity for teacher resilience (Beltman, S. 2015). The online program, Brite, is an extremely helpful resource in regard to pre-service teacher resilience as its aim is to assist educators in “building their awareness of the skills and practices that will help facilitate resilience in their teaching career” (Mansfield et al., 2019). They identify the weaknesses of one’s overall resiliency and provide strategies to improve it, which can assist all educators in reaching their full potential (Mansfield et al., 2019).
Work-Life Balance & Self-Efficacy:
Being a pre-service teacher will have those facing multiple challenges throughout their learning experience in order to grasp a full understanding of what it takes to become a resilient educator. According to Day, “teaching demands significant personal investment” (Day, 2008, p. 250), which is a factor of resilience that is often neglected as personal challenges such as containing a healthy work-life balance and high self-efficacy are personal difficulties that are frequently faced (Kitching, Morgan, & O’Leary, 2009). Having a healthy work-life balance is important in regard to becoming a successful educator. With an effective work-life balance involving a healthy ratio of down time and work time, without one another, the chance of burnout occurring is inevitable due to the neglect of one’s own personal wellbeing (Beltman, Mansfield & Price, 2011). In addition to this, having low self-efficacy is a challenge that continuously needs to be developed (Beltman, Mansfield & Price, 2011). A successfully resilient pre-service teacher will show confidence and high self-efficacy in their work (Beltman, Mansfield & Price, 2011). These challenges are essential in adapting to constant setbacks and can be managed through taking time for oneself (Castro, Kelly, & Shih, 2009). Through doing this, individuals will have the ability to adapt to challenges that are faced effectively and will only grow stronger from the struggles that they are faced with (Castro, Kelly, & Shih, 2009). Furthermore, possessing a network of personal and professional relationships are needed in order to bounce back powerfully (Sammons et al., 2007).
Support Networks & New Relationships:
Research has verified that maintaining support networks is additionally just as important for when battling difficult situations (Mansfield et al., 2019). Being a pre-service teacher in an unfamiliar work environment can be stressful due to the new staff, students, parents and guidelines (Mansfield et al., 2019). Because of this, it is important to stay connected with supportive people such as family, friends and those who are there to support one another (Castro, Kelly, & Shih, 2009). While maintaining these connections, it is additionally just as essential to build new relationships with fellow educators and students within the school community (Mansfield et al., 2019). Creating new relationships can be overwhelming due to being in an unfamiliar environment, however it is important to be proactive in creating these new relationships as it can assist in having a safety net at the workplace and will additionally provide a sense of belonging, which is essential in maintaining one’s wellbeing (Mansfield et al., 2019).
Promoting health throughout the school community is an important part of being an effective educator (Derwhirst, S., Byrne, J. & Speller,V. 2014). Due to the high pressure of being a teacher, many educators struggle in maintaining their own health and wellbeing due to difficult situations constantly challenging their emotions and behaviours, which furthermore has the ability to bring a sense of isolation among educators (Derwhirst, S., Byrne, J. & Speller,V. 2014). The most recurrent source of high level occupational stress has been due to challenging students (Derwhirst, S., Byrne, J. & Speller,V. 2014). Teaching difficult students can be overwhelming and has an evident connection to leading educators to burning out faster (Rae, T., Cowell, N. & Field, L. 2017). In order to overcome burnout and maintain wellbeing, educators must have personal and professional strategies in overcoming these difficulties (Rae, T., Cowell, N. & Field, L. 2017). An example of these involves being a part of support groups which allow for educators to reflect and collaborate with fellow educators (Rae, T., Cowell, N. & Field, L. 2017). Having this be a part of one’s timetable in a school day or proceed through a more unformal approach such as continuous peer support can provide staff with similar opportunities (Rae, T., Cowell, N. & Field, L. 2017). It has become evident through research of educators that being a part of a supportive school environment is noticeably more unlikely to create stress for teachers and additionally provides a sense of welcoming and professional development. The observation of feeling valued can have a substantial affect on a teacher’s wellbeing (Rae, T., Cowell, N. & Field, L. 2017)
Overcoming these challenges is difficult yet rewarding in that they provide the ability to become a successfully resilient educator. Through staying connected with past friends and family and building new relationships, I will have a strong network of people who provide constant support, which encourages me to push myself and avoid burnout (Mansfield et al., 2019). Focusing on my personal health and knowing that it is necessary to take a break from work will additionally assist in maintaining a healthy wellbeing, which can then become the building blocks of my success for the future (Mansfield et al., 2019).
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