Developing Resilience and Promoting Well-being in Early Career Teaching
Advice from the Canadian Beginning Teachers
Our multi-phase pan-Canadian research study examined the differential impact of teacher induction and mentorship programs on the retention of early-career teachers (ECTs). One of the research phases—interviews—explored the lived experiences of novice professionals during their first years of teaching as they dealt with requirements, expectations, and challenges. In this article, we describe the perceptions of the ECTs (N = 36) regarding their needs, hopes, and concerns in relation to developing resilience and promoting well-being for ECTs across Canada. Based on the phenomenological analysis of the data, four themes emerged: cultivating
a work-life balance; nurturing a positive mindset; committing to reflective practices; and consulting, connecting, and collaborating with others. These ECTs, who sometimes thrived, and other times struggled, were able to articulate and contextualize their experiences and actions within high-demand environments of early career teaching, and provided useful insights for other ECTs’ resilience and well-being. This article concludes with implications for research, practice, and school leadership in the areas of teacher induction and mentoring.
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