Trauma-informed teacher wellbeing: A new model for teacher wellbeing to support teachers contending with the primary and secondary impacts of workplace stressors and exposure to students contending with adverse childhood experiences

Year: 2021

Author: Brunzell, Tom, Stokes, Helen

Type of paper: Individual Paper

For the last 15 years, teacher wellbeing has been a priority area of exploration within education and positive psychology literatures. However, increasing teacher wellbeing for those who educate students impacted by trauma has yet to be comprehensively explored despite repeated exposure of teachers to child trauma and their experiences of associated negative effects such as secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatisation, compassion fatigue and burnout. This study follows teachers’ understandings and reflections upon their own wellbeing after learning the literatures supporting trauma-informed positive education. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used as the methodological approach to represent teachers (N = 18) in order to privilege the language, voices and experiences of participants. Results yielded a new set of domains of trauma-informed teacher wellbeing to assist teachers to increase their own wellbeing when working with students. The likely upsurge in students and teachers across the world experiencing trauma symptoms (primary and vicarious) arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic makes this research timely and relevant.