Access Type

Open Access Embargo

Date of Award

January 2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Suzanne Brown

Abstract

Teacher wellbeing (burnout, secondary trauma, compassion satisfaction) is associated with teacher attrition (Chang, 2009; Howard & Johnson, 2004; Hutell, Melin, & Gustavsson, 2013) and student academic outcomes (school connectedness and academic achievement) (Arens & Morin, 2016; Caprara, Barbaranelli, Steca, & Malone 2006). Teacher wellbeing impacts the ability to implement Trauma-Informed School-Based (TISB) interventions with fidelity. TISB interventions place the responsibility on the adults in the school to make changes in order to address student behaviors (Herman, Hickmon-Rosa, & Reinke, 2018). This includes ensuring teachers and staff are able to regulate their own emotional responses. The importance of teacher wellbeing and the implementation of TISB is evident in schools that serve youth involved in court in alternative educational settings, as the students have a higher rate of trauma-histories than the general population (Kerig & Ford, 2014). Female youth experience higher rates of PTSD and sexual abuse than their male counterparts (Sherman & Balck, 2015; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002). There is a gap in literature examining the wellbeing of teachers over the school year and monitoring the fidelity of TISB interventions. This three-paper dissertation seeks to fill this gap by examining teacher wellbeing, mitigating factors to teacher wellbeing (self-care), and a TISB fidelity monitoring tool. A mixed-methods design examined the trajectory of teacher wellbeing and the changes in frequencies of use of self-care strategies during the school day over four timepoints; the relationship between self-care and teacher wellbeing was explored (N=27). The fidelity monitoring tool, Trauma-informed Teaching Observation Tool (TITO) was examined using mixed methods (N=10). Findings show that teacher wellbeing fluctuates throughout the school year with December and April identified as more stressful. The frequency of use of self-care strategies had a strong negative relationship with burnout and secondary trauma, indicating the use of self-care as a mitigator of burnout and secondary trauma. Lastly, TITO was found to be useful in examining teacher implementation of TISB interventions. Teachers suggested adding additional observation timepoints and additions to the social-emotional component of the observation tool. Implications for policy and practice are discussed as is future directions for research.

Available for download on Thursday, January 20, 2022

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