Eley D.S., Cloninger C.R., Walters L., Laurence C., Synnott R. and, Wilkinson D. (2013) The relationship between resilience and personality traits in doctors: implications for enhancing well being. PeerJ 1:e216 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.216
Resilience was associated with a personality trait pattern that is mature, responsible, optimistic, persevering, and cooperative. Findings support the inclusion of resilience as a component of optimal functioning and well being in doctors. Strategies for enhancing resilience should consider the key traits that drive or impair it.
Day, C. and Q. Gu (2009). "Veteran teachers: commitment, resilience and quality retention." Teachers & Teaching 15(4): 441-457.
Gu, Q. and C. Day (2007). "Teachers resilience: A necessary condition for effectiveness." Teaching and Teacher Education 23(8): 1302–1316.
Mansfield, C. and S. Beltman (2012). "“Don’t sweat the small stuff:” Understanding teacher resilience at the chalkface." Teaching and Teacher Education 28: 357-367.
Mansfield and Beltman’s study of 200 early career teachers identified a complex interplay in factors identified by teachers as influencing their resilience, which they summarised under the dimensions ‘profession related’, ‘social’, ‘emotional’ and ‘motivational’, categories which can clearly fit with the influences summarised here.
Focus on CO-construction, CO-design & Collaboration is intended to strengthen novice teachers’ sense of professional agency.
The tools in this theme are designed to support senior leaders in scaffolding collaboration between teams of teachers at all levels to address these broad challenges of teacher retention and to enable schools and teachers to focus on further developing their classroom practice.
Tools fit nicely with the project idea of a toolbox
Recorded during staff meeting by my assistant head
Examples from the UK
Examples fr0m the UK
Presenters: Nick Givens, Caroline Parsons and
UK Project Team: Karen Walshe, Lindsay Hetherington, Nigel Skinner, Nick Givens , Keith
Postlethwaite, Andrew Dean
The Problem: Teacher Retention
In the UK, teacher turnover remains high in comparison
with other countries.
Over 10 years (2003-2014), 12% of NQTs left after 1 year.
Between 2000 and 2009, 28% left after 5 years.
Only 80% of trainees who qualified in 2013/14 were
employed in teaching posts within 6 months.
Recent figures estimate that almost 40% of NQTs leave
the profession within a year of qualifying (the exodus of
new recruits has almost tripled in six years).
Retention problems affect secondary schools to a greater
extent than primary schools
Particular shortages in certain subject areas, notably
Science and Mathematics, where recruitment is more
challenging and leaving rates for existing Maths and
Science teachers are above average.
Teacher turnover is higher in disadvantaged urban
schools (employ greater numbers of novice teachers)
More early career teachers leave the profession
Regional differences in teacher recruitment and
retention issues exist, with greater vacancy rates in
London, the East of England and the South East.
According to research…..
Research suggests that teacher resilience is key.
There are a wide range of professional, social,
emotional and motivational factors which impact
on teachers’ sense of their own resilience.
These include both personal and contextual ‘risk’
and ‘protective’ factors.
Research suggests that a supportive school culture that is
‘integrated’ in supporting both experienced and novice
teachers is a contributing factor for teacher retention and
the development of teacher resilience.
Project set out to develop and trial a set of tools (toolkit) to
support school leaders and teachers in developing an
inclusive, creative, and integrative school culture. We argue
that these tools can be effective in mentor/SLT support for
Collaborative Research Project
The UK project team worked with members of the
senior leadership team and teachers in a total of six
schools in the South West of England.
Literature Review: Reasons for staying
Literature Review: Reasons for leaving
Seeking new challenges
School situation (e.g. poor behaviour, poor
Decline in public respect for the profession
Survey: Reasons for staying in the profession
Love of job
Sense of teaching as a vocation
Advantages: salary; pension; holidays; job security
Quality of support
Sense of accomplishment e.g. seeing students’
progress – academically and holistically
Variable nature of job
Need to stay e.g. financial commitments
Sense of responsibility for students
Survey: Reasons for leaving the profession
Workload (impact on family life, fatigue, focus
on administration rather than teaching)
Balancing act - keeping on top of planning,
marking, assessing, reporting; not knowing
what to prioritise
Focus on meeting national targets, rather than
fostering students’ enjoyment of learning)
Constant awareness of accountability /
monitoring / inspection (‘OfSTED’)
Performance related pay
Pressure from parents/government/governors
Poor public perception
Breakdown of the profession (e.g. unqualified
Lack of support; bullying from management; A lot
of work not valued/rewarded
Parents not understanding they need to do their
Prescriptive curriculum and lack of resources
Class sizes, poor student behavior, apathetic
Survey: Reasons for leaving the profession
Key Factor = Stress
The result of attempting to cope with workload
Too many things outside of teacher’s own control
Not wanting to let anyone down
Co-construction, Co-design & Collaboration
Strong link between collaboration and positive school
outcomes; high levels of motivation; and effective
implementation of change.
Research suggests that there are three key issues in
teacher retention that collaborative working may help
1. Teacher resilience
2. Risk management
Tool 1: Framework for Collaborative Dialogue
Rooted in Activity Theory – supporting teachers in
exploring how they can take action for change in
relation to a key issue/problem.
Activity Theory notion of ‘tools’
Designed to scaffold collaborative conversations
The Framework for Collaborative Dialogue (FCD)
Worked Example of the Framework for Collaborative Dialogue (FCD)
Comments taken from Teachers’ evaluations of the project:
• ‘It’s very like the forms I used on my PGCE (pre-
service )training, it feels familiar and helped to
frame our ideas.’ Teacher of 2 years
• ‘Useful – the questions in the boxes helped frame
discussion.’ Teacher of 5 years
• Gave an opportunity to look closely at the teaching
standards and see how they were relevant’ Teacher of
• ‘Questions useful, but having to record answers
were more difficult.’ Teacher of 3 years
• ‘Wonderful to have time to talk effectively.’ Teacher of
Tool 2: Lesson Study
Supported by the FCD
Supports teacher collaboration to address a key issue or
develop an innovative and creative pedagogy
A group of teachers (usually 2-3) undertake to
collaboratively plan a lesson which one will teach whilst the
Fosters shared ownership of the lesson
Meeting to debrief enables critically reflective thinking
about the impact of the teaching on pupils’ learning
Go through the process again as illustrated in the next slide
Schools may use both tools in a wide variety of ways,
Whole school approach
Members of the SLT
Team of teachers e.g. a department
Triad of teachers e.g. SLT; Senior teacher; Novice
Team of teachers and support staff
Collaborative nature of the project team (university
and schools steering group)
Some of our schools in particular, recognised that
they had retention issues and were keen to address
The toolbox was most effective when it was
integrated into already existing CPD goals and
Strong positive trusting professional relationships
between school managers and teachers. School
managers with attitudes that genuinely
complemented the values and approach of the
project were able to make best use of its contents.
School selected tools which were seen to be
relevant for the context within which they work.
The initial success of some of the tools trialled in
round 1 was a promoting factor and fuelled schools’
willingness to engage with other tools in the
The key challenge for schools was that of capacity,
1. High turn-over of staff (particularly
2. High workloads and lack of time (and
resilience) for teachers to engage with the
3. Danger that some teachers might see some of
the tools (e.g. Lesson Study) as another
management tool for monitoring them.
5. Conditions of national accountability in England at the
moment which means that schools are driven by the
need to show immediate impact with regards to any
intervention – what is the impact on pupils learning
6. Some tools were felt to be very time consuming and
would therefore add to teachers’ workload and
associated stress rather than reduce it
The toolbox assumes that the goal is to help
schools to create open and inclusive working
environments, which assumes that schools want to
achieve this and that schools would see the benefits
Schools with high retention issues were the ones to
drop out suggests that the tool box might be better
seen as a PRE-EMPTIVE / ‘health tool’ (i.e.
preventative tool) rather than an ‘emergency tool’
when the issues have already arisen.
For the toolbox to be effective teachers need to
trust that they are free to take risks (e.g. with
Lesson Study) and try something completely new
without fear of judgement.
A key thing that we’ve learnt is that it’s not the tool
itself, but how its purpose is understood and how
its location in the school culture is constructed e.g.
lesson study could be seen as either another
performance monitoring tool or as a genuine CPD