Finding a Way: What Crisis Reveals about Teachers’ Emotional Wellbeing and Its Importance for Education

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Hopman, Jean ORCID: 0000-0002-2921-4358 and Clark, Tom (2023) Finding a Way: What Crisis Reveals about Teachers’ Emotional Wellbeing and Its Importance for Education. Education Sciences, 13 (11). ISSN 2227-7102


In crisis, teachers are often positioned as frontline workers serving the community’s needs. The emotional work of teaching is widely recognised, an acknowledgement that teachers mediate emotionally loaded relational dynamics. A fast-growing body of research investigates strategies and interventions to emotionally support children and young people in times of crisis. Less explored is teachers’ emotional wellbeing during times of crisis. This research aims to better understand teachers’ needs to support their wellbeing in times of crisis. It utilises a narrative approach, threading together thematically analysed Twitter posts from teachers and teacher representative bodies engaged in discussion of their profession across the USA. Our findings show that teachers experienced a range of emotions around the pandemic when their daily work pivoted to accommodate government-mandated responses. Teaching is, of its nature, an emotionally taxing role, and this is heightened in crisis. Our research highlights the importance of teachers finding a way toward self-care that is nested within an institutional culture of collective care.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/educsci13111141
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3904 Specialist studies in education
Current > Division/Research > First Year College
Keywords emotion; affect; teachers; teaching culture; crisis; narrative; education; policy
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