Castro, A., Kelly, J. and Shih, M. (2010). Resilience strategies for new teachers in high-needs areas. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, p.622-629.
Resilience strategies for new teachers, as a study, presents new ways of thinking about what new teachers need to be successful and to continue in education as a career. Teacher attrition is a growing concern and the school context appears to be a contributing factor. Lack of resources, professional development opportunities, parent involvement and community support systems comprise the school context. The researchers explored resiliency, or the ability to adjust to varied situations while growing in competence during adverse conditions, in new teachers from rural areas, urban areas and within special education assignments. Through interviews four themes were found, help-seeking strategies, problemsolving strategies, and managing difficult relationship strategies. Each of these themes was found within the interviews from the new teacher participants, seeking rejuvenation and renewal. Their abilities to advocate for themselves in each of the areas proved their resilience. The resilience strategies can provide paths for new teachers to learn to cope as well as sustain themselves in their current realities. The researchers advocate for teacher educators to teach preservice teachers organizational literacy and micro-political literacy. Organizational literacy revers to how schools function while micro-political literacy refers to the ability of a new teacher to understand the social-professional interests within their interactions with others. These strategies, the researchers believe, can help new teachers navigate the social context and overcome the pressures felt by all. I found this article a breath of fresh air as the majority of what I have been reading has been centered on mentoring or teacher induction. Although this article was not induction specific I do believe the researchers touched on some poignant thoughts. The strategies they discovered are what we see in teachers who many times we refer to as â€œnaturals.â€? As I was reading I was thinking of the teachers that I have on staff who struggle and wondered how to help them with these types of strategies so they could be more successful. These strategies, included in an induction program, would give new teachers more tools for their tool box and potentially help them to discover tools for themselves. I