Many countries report a lowering of teacher morale, rises in stress and burnout resulting in high levels of teacher attrition. This has significant impact not only for teachers’ health and wellbeing but also on student achievement and all parts of the school system since research has highlighted that the key factor of a good school is the quality of its teachers. Research has shown that highly committed teachers are more likely to perform better academically than their peers who are not able to sustain their commitment.
“Resilience offers a useful lens which allows us to probe teachers’ internal and external worlds to explore which factors, individually and in combination, influence their capacity to sustain their passion, enthusiasm and strong sense of fulfilment.” (Gu, Q. & Li, Q. (2013). Sustaining resilience in times of change: Stories from Chinese teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(3), 288-303).
In the ENTREE project, teacher resilience refers to the process of, capacity for, or outcome of positive adaptation and ongoing professional commitment and growth in the face of challenging circumstances. Resilience is shaped by individual, situational and broader contextual characteristics that interrelate in dynamic ways to provide risk (challenging) or protective (supportive) factors. Individuals, drawing on personal, professional and social resources, not only “bounce back” but are able to thrive professionally and personally, experiencing job satisfaction, positive self-beliefs, personal wellbeing and an ongoing commitment to the profession.