Learning about resilience helped me escape

By: Sahar Bahrami

Learning about resilience helped me escape

Almost at the beginning of my internship, I took part in an online escape room, organized by the Teacher dept. of Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. We’ve gotten ourselves into some trouble and we had to ‘escape’ the situation we were in. This, of course, could only be done by solving different kinds of puzzles. Which were all related to the main subject, which was: enhancing resilience in pre-service teachers and teachers alike. 

To complete the task at hand I had to work together with students and even a professor, from around the world (i.e. Germany, the UK and South Africa). We had to solve 8 puzzles in total. Each puzzle taught us something about resilience. The things I´ve learned made me realize a couple of things, that I would like to share with you.

Did you know that …..

  1. Teacher that are on the lower end of the resilience continuum have a higher risk to drop out?
  2. The way you feel, i.e. your wellbeing, goes hand in hand with how resilient you are as a teacher?
  3. Resilient teacher have an easier time bouncing back after a challenging and adverse situation?
  4. Being resilient is measured on several dimensions, e.g. an emotional, professional, motivational and a social dimension?
  5. Having people surrounding you who can help you can actually help you feel more resilient? 

And the funny thing was, that even though we were miles apart, we’d all experienced stress and a lack of resilience as a (pre-service) teacher in some way or the other. Another thing we all agreed on is that teacher programs could play a significant role in solving this problem. When asked what we would advise the current teacher programs, some of the participants replied:

“Please, listen to what students have to say and take their feedback into account. Guide them properly and do not let them alone. Not all students come from the same background.”

“Give more positive feedback! Encourage students to keep going because they are doing a good job and they are totally able to make it till the end!”

Do you feel the same way or do you want to learn more about how to become a resilient teacher? Head to brite.edu.au for more information! 

Fokkens-Bruinsma, M., Gemmink, M., & Rooij, van, E. (2021). Staying BRiTE in the Dutch teacher education context. In C. F. Mansfeld (Ed.), Cultivating Teacher Resilience: International Approaches, Applications and Impact (pp. 143-158). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5963-1_9

Kiltz, L., Rinas, R., Daumiller, M., Fokkens-Bruinsma, M., & Jansen, E. (2020). ‘When They Struggle, I Cannot Sleep Well Either’: Perceptions and Interactions Surrounding University Student and Teacher Well-Being. Frontiers in Psychology11, [578378]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.578378

Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Broadley, T., & Weatherby-Fell, N. (2016b). Building resilience in teacher education: An evidenced informed framework. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 77–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2015.11.016.