TEACHER TRAUMA: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF SELFEFFICACY/RELATIONSHIPS/SCHOOL CLIMATE AND THE CORRELATION TO PTSD AND RETENTION AMONGST K-12 EDUCATORS
Public school teachers are afflicted with emotional issues that not only impact their mental, physical and emotional health but affect education at large through teacher attrition (Barmby, 2006; Davis & Wilson, 2000; Gold & Roth, 1993). Educators’ mental health is an essential contributor to students’ academic success, however, remains a neglected topic in education (Pickens, 2015). The current study addresses this scholarly gap by examining teachers’ perceptions of primary and secondary trauma through the related personal, professional, and relational impacts they have experienced. The current study also examines the forms of trauma that educators encounter within their school sites. The researcher used a mixedmethods design to answer the research questions for this study. A total of 400 teachers, recruited using a mix of convenience, purposive and snowball sampling participated in this study. An online survey consisting of closed-ended and open-ended questions were administered to participants. Using Pearson’s correlations, a negative and statistically significant correlation was found between teacher trauma, student-teacher relationships, teacher self-efficacy, and school climate. An ANOVA revealed that irrespective of the form of trauma experienced by teachers, those who experienced trauma at school where they perceive the school climate to be adverse, had lower self-efficacy, poor relationships with students, and were more likely to leave their profession. Analyses of the open-ended questions brought to the fore the two most common forms of trauma experienced by teachers in the sample: school violence and community violence.
trauma, mixed methods, self-efficacy, teacher-student relationships