The Whole Teacher: Growing Educator Resilience and Well-Being
Hester, Weston Tyler
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CitationHester, Weston Tyler. 2020. The Whole Teacher: Growing Educator Resilience and Well-Being. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractBeing a teacher is hard. Teachers must learn how to prepare engaging lessons, captivate student attention, analyze data, manage behavior, work well with parents and colleagues, and navigate school bureaucracy, among other responsibilities. The difficulty and attendant stress of a teacher’s job are compounded by a wide variety of systemic challenges teachers face: low pay relative to other workers with similar levels of education, low levels of autonomy, anemic support, and harsh scrutiny from the public. These professional challenges can give rise to personal stress, which contributes to an alarming percentage of early-career teachers leaving the profession.
This capstone examines my work to design and launch a program within Stockton Unified School District to provide educators with support that enables them to achieve a greater degree of well-being, resist burnout, and stay in the profession longer than they might have otherwise. The program consisted of twelve sessions that enabled teachers to learn about and practice strategies empirically proven to increase well-being.
Throughout this capstone, I describe the design and execution of the program. I also analyze its impact, examining changes in well-being for participating teachers and a comparison group of educators using validated assessments of burnout, resilience, subjective well-being, job satisfaction, and others. Feedback from participants suggests that educators who took part derived significant benefits from their participation. I explore the implications of these results as they apply to me as a leader, to Stockton Unified School District, and to the public education sector more broadly.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364846