Well-Being and the Preparation of Teachers
Well-Being and the Preparation of Teachers
- Josep Gustems-CarnicerJosep Gustems-CarnicerUniversitat de Barcelona
- and Caterina CalderonCaterina CalderonUniversitat de Barcelona
Modern society has achieved levels of well-being linked to economic prosperity, better and more extended education, and greater life expectancy. For individuals, improvements in well-being impact positively on friendships and other social relationships, marriage, and work satisfaction.
There is no doubt that the future of society depends in great measure on the teachers who work with future citizens. Unfortunately, too many teachers in developed countries suffer from chronic, work-related stress, which negatively affects their health, life satisfaction, vocation, and professional stability in the education system. Ensuring the well-being of teachers is essential to ensure that future generations of citizens receive the best help in their intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal growth.
For teachers, certain personality traits can mitigate the effects of stress. Mindfulness and coping strategies can also help to minimize the negative effects of stress, but the most effective way to help student teachers deal with stress is to include specific programs throughout teacher education courses in universities.
Starting university is traditionally considered to be a period characterized by many changes that can cause stress among students, such as separation from one’s family, entering the job market, negotiating the student workload, changing address, and attempting to make new friendships. In teacher education, universities are in a position both to improve their students’ lives and to give them information about how to negotiate future professional difficulties. Teacher education programs must maintain constant interest in enhancing the academic performance of the students, and their affective conditions must enrich the exercise and development of students’ virtues and strengths, at the same time as students are offered tools for their working future.
The actions promoted to help students develop these virtues and strengths should be accompanied by an effective tutorial action plan, a psychological health service for students, activities to help students acquire self-awareness of character strengths, a mentoring plan, tutoring among students, teamwork, programs to develop coping strategies, the organization of educational material, discipline, full class control, programs to optimize students’ time management, guidance on negotiating the increasing levels of bureaucracy in education, creative exercises to compensate for the lack of resources, collective exercise (sports), artistic activities, programs of mindfulness, religious practice, and volunteer work. Education students need to have a university experience that provides them with numerous opportunities to develop values, competences, attitudes, knowledge, beliefs, an identity, and coping strategies that will help them to be better professionals, more conscientious citizens, and happier individuals.
- Cognition, Emotion, and Learning
- Professional Learning and Development
- Education, Health, and Social Services
In Pursuit of Well-Being
Well-being is a term that applies in a wide range of contexts, from social relations to mental and physical health. If the concept is analyzed in depth, it cannot be separated from happiness; in other words, when people enjoy a good state, they lead a life that produces satisfaction and that, ultimately, allows them to achieve the happiness they desire. It is therefore necessary to ask what conditions favor human well-being. In general, the two types of conditions are those that are outside the individual’s control and those that are within it. It seems obvious that well-being is difficult to achieve when an individual has poor health or lacks food, friends, economic resources, or freedom, which are all external factors that can affect an individual. However, well-being is not guaranteed by external factors alone; some internal factors, such as character traits and dispositional optimism, can be crucial as well.
Different models of well-being have been proposed. In 2001, Ryan and Deci established two main approaches: one related to pleasure (hedonic well-being) and the other to the development of human potential (eudaemonic well-being). This classification was later redefined when the subjective well-being and psychological well-being constructs were proposed to substitute for the hedonic and eudaemonic terms, respectively. Subjective well-being (SWB) results from the balance between immediately perceived positive and negative affect, while life satisfaction is a global cognitive judgment that is more stable over time.
Ryff (2018) defined psychological well-being (PWB) as the development of one’s true self and a life lived to the full. Such well-being tends to have a more consistent relationship with physical health, since it triggers affective regulation mechanisms in the medium and long term that react to aversive stimuli by provoking slower responses and lower amygdala activation. It is therefore thought that certain parts of the brain could be activated to minimize the impact of negative stimuli, and this implies a possible mechanism whereby eudaemonic well-being preserves and promotes hedonic well-being.
In contrast, the “three steps to happiness” theory proposes an interaction among pleasure, commitment, and meaning, in which pleasure is defined as a hedonistic vision (the result of humor, vitality, hope, social intelligence, and love), commitment is defined as Aristotle’s notion of eudaemonia (the result of vitality, curiosity, hope, perseverance, and perspective), and meaning is defined as life meaning and the development of goals beyond oneself (the result of religiousness, gratitude, hope, zest, and curiosity; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Regarding the meaning and purpose of life, it is possible that this dimension is enhanced by the perception of a large number of positive social relationships, a point that has been raised in a number of studies conducted in university contexts. In a similar vein, Diener and Seligman (2002) found that well-being was related to the presence of good interpersonal relationships and active involvement in the social community. This finding confirms that happier people are more sociable and extroverted and maintain more satisfying interpersonal relationships.
Note that differences in well-being due to income are rare, while differences that are related to friendships, social relationships, marriage, and work satisfaction are more common. Similarly, the chances of achieving optimal levels of well-being increase with age, education level, extroversion, openness to experiences, and decreased neuroticism.
Analysis of strengths and positive emotions helps explain the development of new thought-action repertoires by students (Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek, & Finkel, 2008). For example, joy can lead to the exploration of new situations or interactions with other people and favor the growth of intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal resources. One of the central tenets of positive psychology is that character strengths contribute to individual well-being and happiness.
From a utilitarian point of view, the good life, well-being, or happiness can be achieved by an individual’s undertaking certain actions that lead to greater overall happiness, regardless of the character traits that have motivated the actions. From the perspective of positive psychology, without certain character traits a good life would not be possible. So, following a standard of conduct leads to a good life only if we can ensure that the norms govern our actions over time, through the exercise of self-control and self-regulation.
Life satisfaction (the overall evaluation of one’s life over time) is a cognitive component of SWB that is a result of the events and experiences of life that positively correlates with the strengths of the individual: an increase in strengths leads to greater happiness and life satisfaction—especially among the less virtuous. Individuals who are satisfied with life are good problem-solvers, show better work performance, tend to be more resistant to stress, and experience better physical health.
Closely associated with life satisfaction are emotional strengths: hope, vitality, gratitude, love, and curiosity; while, in contrast, only weakly associated with life satisfaction are modesty, appreciation of beauty, creativity, judgment, and the love of learning (Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2004). At all ages, hope and vitality are the most important positive predictors of life satisfaction, while among the young, love and gratitude are also notable (Park & Peterson, 2009). At the individual level, hope is associated with persistence, and vitality with job satisfaction. Hope enables people to overcome uncertainty and to remain on track, and it is an effective predictor of remaining in a profession. Furthermore, hopeful people are psychologically healthier.
The implications of these outcomes for education are various. Teachers should be optimistic and lively individuals, full of hope, and they should be capable of transmitting their values in addition to love and gratitude for people and the environment. But these outcomes also have implications for educational policy, which needs to pay attention to the aspirations and professional careers of teachers, to the conditions in which teachers carry out their work, and to models of teacher training and selection.
At present, and given the small contribution of wage increases to well-being, a consideration of the other factors that lead to satisfaction is imperative for the correct choice of a job (Diener & Seligman, 2004). Job security, challenge, task variety, and responsibility must be present to optimal degrees for a job to be considered satisfying, but what a person brings to their work is also important. Those who are socially engaged are also more likely to feel satisfied, particularly if they have friends in the workplace.
Most studies focus on the effect that individuals’ character strengths have on the individuals themselves and overlook the effect that the strengths may have on other people─for example, how teachers’ strengths may influence their students.
Well-Being and Stress in Teachers
Well-being depends to a large extent on the individual, but it also depends on factors that promote well-being, which should be modified and must therefore be strengthened. Empirical research conducted within the realm of positive psychology supports a theoretical model of well-being, based on the Aristotelian moral theory: happiness consists on the exercise of the virtues. Positive psychology complements the usual ways of contemplating psychological reality, since it seeks to develop models of prevention. Research in prevention has discovered that there are human strengths that act as buffers against mental illnesses (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). The goal of education, therefore, should be the development of virtues. Effective teachers will be those who score highly on the character strengths that enable them to develop the skills relevant to their profession, as well as those of their students (Park & Peterson, 2009). Epstein (2018) recommended that teacher trainers identify the personal qualities of future teachers and strengthen these qualities during their training.
Of the many roles taken by the teacher, the most widely accepted is that of “developing universal values,” which is often linked to concepts like being “charismatic,” and which gives the teacher more of a moral role than an academic or reflective one, so that a teacher is someone who exercises an effective influence over other people. For example, the publication in 2011 of new standards for teachers in England stated its goal “to improve the quality and moral purpose of the teaching profession” (Gove, 2011). It is apparent that in the new millennium teachers have, among other challenges, to confront the inequalities that afflict society and to find a way of bringing the curriculum to people of all cultures. Teachers cannot remain passive in the face of significant social problems. The happiness of future generations depends on teaching them that their happiness will flow from their exercising good behavior.
According to studies by Park, Peterson, and Seligman (2004), the character strengths most closely associated with well-being at work are gratitude, hope, vitality, curiosity, and love. Across all professions analyzed, based on data from their website (VIA-IS), vitality predicted the stance that work was a calling (r = 0.39), work satisfaction (r = 0.46), and overall life satisfaction (r = 0.53). No doubt the teaching profession demands a high level of commitment and attention to others, as well as a highly valued professional competence, and it has been associated many times with a “calling.” The educational policies in some countries, including the United Kingdom, even take this “calling” or “mission” into account in the characterization of the task of educators.
Thus teaching is a unique profession where the teachers’ personal skills—their character strengths—play a key role in educating others effectively, along with their knowledge, values, and dispositions. In line with Aristotle, a “good teacher” combines theoretical knowledge (episteme), technical skill (techne), and practical wisdom (phronesis). Good teachers should also be good people, because education is ultimately a concern for the well-being of others, the students. Therefore, a teacher’s responsibility extends beyond the classroom: teaching is directed toward the committed resolution of the problems of society and the overcoming of inequalities, and therefore it has a clear moral orientation. Highly committed teachers bring to their work: perseverance, social intelligence, vitality, and humor. The most rewarding and satisfying jobs are seen as a calling; employees in such jobs do not leave their profession and they tend to take fewer days off work, growing old in the profession and attaining a higher status. Thus, a commitment to work is one way in which an individual can find happiness, Aristotle’s eudaemonia.
However, during the early 21st century, the percentage of teachers affected by stress has increased from 30% to 46% in the United States, and such stress can lead to numerous problems in education systems (Klassen & Tze, 2014). The significant increase in teachers’ stress can be explained by a number of factors that compromise the quality of teaching offered in schools, including the complexity of the education process itself, the increase in educational bureaucracy, the increasing involvement of families in formal education, and the lack of resources to deal with extra educational tasks (Perera, Granziera, & McIlveen, 2018). In fact, 22% of novice teachers in the United States abandoned the profession before their third year, and up to 50% did so in the first five years. In 2008, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) showed that there were more teachers leaving the profession than students enrolling in teacher education programs in Europe. Given this situation, we must act to strengthen teacher morale by clarifying the teacher’s role, and by providing greater professional recognition, more participation in school decision-making, a reasonable workload, effective discipline policies, better student orientation, coherent school curricula, and the opportunity for professional growth. All of these are effective policies for upholding educational well-being, enhancing vocational factors, and favoring the selection of the best candidates for the job.
Some studies suggest that stressful experiences stem from the training period. Academic stress increases as students progress through their studies and reach the highest levels at university. University studies represent the culminating point of academic stress due to the high workload, but also because they coincide with a stage in life when students are forced to deal with many changes in their environment and their social, family, and work lives.
Across different countries, many university students present with stress and psychological distress to a significant degree. Tavolacci et al. (2013) found that stress is associated with increased risk of alcohol use, eating disorders, and cyber addiction. During academic training, little time is spent teaching student teachers to recognize the signs of stress and to learn the procedures, techniques, and strategies they need to cope with the stressful situations they will encounter.
The use of problem-focused coping has been associated with fewer psychological and behavioral problems, while the use of emotion-focused avoidance coping is associated with increased substance abuse (e.g., cannabis and tobacco use), poor health habits (Tavolacci et al., 2013), and a higher risk of suicide. Everyone needs a certain amount of pressure to give a good account of themselves. However, when the pressure exceeds a student’s coping capacity, the result is the onset of stress. Stress in teacher education students has been related to their course (assessments, exams, assignments, and practicum) and to social and financial concerns.
Some authors have identified sex differences in the health issues of students: women tend to be more prone to stress, to perceive themselves as having poorer health, and to have less healthy dietary habits than men (Varela-Mato, Cancela, Ayan, Martín, & Molina, 2012). Men tend to use fewer coping strategies, to seek less support from their peers, and to attempt to solve problems by themselves. The search for social support is a key factor in the university setting, which is an environment in which peer relations and teacher–student relations are established, and it is crucial that students know how to harness social interactions to exchange information, to establish networks, and to develop new personal and social skills.
Although we still have a long way to go before we can unravel the mechanisms by which well-being is enhanced, the education system can and should become a key driving force behind the psychological well-being of individuals. Educating and training should be processes that extend beyond the mere transmission and evaluation of content. It is equally important for students to learn to establish meaningful relationships with other people, to be self-reliant, to adapt to their environment, and to learn how to set objectives and personal goals that will lead them to develop their individual abilities and achieve their full potential. From this standpoint, education professionals can promote the intrapersonal skills and well-being of their students.
Stress Protection Factors in Teachers
The main factors that protect teachers against stress include empathy, character strengths, and coping strategies. Empathy is an affective response that allows individuals to understand the emotional state of others, a concept that includes cognitive and affective aspects. The cognitive aspect consists of the imaginative capacity to put oneself in another person’s place and to recognize and to understand the other person’s emotional state. The affective aspect includes the ability to share both the positive and the negative emotions of the other person. Empathy leads to successful interpersonal relations, increased social popularity (Coyne et al., 2018), and increased prosocial behavior, and it acts as a buffer against aggression. Empathy is important for future teachers, because it allows them to understand the needs of students and to provide them with tailored, high-quality support. However, very high scores in empathic stress can hinder professional objectivity and can negatively interfere with the psychological health of teachers, who may even make erroneous or unfair decisions.
As for character strengths, higher levels are associated with greater psychological well-being (Linley, Nielsen, Gillett, & Biswas-Diener, 2010). In particular, strengths that focus on other people and the quality of relationships, such as teamwork, and so-called “strengths of the heart,” such as feelings and intuition, are strongly related to psychological well-being (Diener & Seligman, 2002), and developing and maintaining good relationships with others is a necessary condition for well-being (Diener & Seligman, 2002). Strengths like love, curiosity, and gratitude are strongly associated with a good state of mind and life satisfaction (Park, Peterson, & Seligman, 2004). Students who are more motivated and committed to their studies present high scores in perseverance, zest, and humor. Otherwise, the character strengths least related to life satisfaction were modesty, creativity, appreciation of beauty, judgment, and love of learning.
Coping strategies are a series of actions and thoughts that enable students to tolerate, to avoid, or to minimize the effects of a stressful situation. Therefore, coping is regarded as a mediating variable between stress and psychological well-being, and the effective use of coping strategies allows students to adjust to stressful academic and work situations more easily. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) proposed two coping styles: problem-focused coping (approach-oriented coping) that aims to modify the problematic situation to make it less stressful, and emotion-focused avoidance coping, which aims to reduce tension, physiological arousal, and emotional reaction. Approach-oriented coping strategies have a partial mediating role between stress and psychological well-being (Gustems, Calderon, Batalla, & Esteban, 2018), and approach-oriented coping is associated with positive rates of psychological well-being, while emotion-focused avoidance coping is associated with the perception of greater psychological distress. Approach-oriented coping includes logical analysis, positive reevaluation, search for guidance and support, and problem solving. Examples of avoidance strategies are cognitive avoidance, acceptance, resignation, search for alternative rewards, and emotional discharge.
Some authors have linked stress to certain coping styles, specifically avoidance coping. For example, cognitive avoidance of minor stressors, such as problems with colleagues or teachers, and financial problems that are postponed and avoided may end up being a source of major problems. Behavioral avoidance can trigger the activation of new stressors; for example, emotional discharge can exacerbate family tensions or work stress. Avoidance coping has also been linked to greater depressive symptoms in university students. In women, the association between avoidance coping and depression has been linked to procrastination, a passive coping strategy that is more common among women than men and is related to intense and persistent depressive symptoms.
The results of a study by Gustems and Calderon (2014) showed that the two coping responses that are the best predictors of psychological distress in student teachers are an excessive use of behavioral avoidance strategies, such as emotional discharge, and insufficient use of active, approach-orientated strategies, such as problem-solving. An unproductive coping style is related to poor well-being, while a coping style aimed at solving the problem is related to high levels of well-being. In another study conducted among Iranian university students, students who regarded their problems as unmanageable were found to apply significantly more avoidance cognitive strategies, to seek alternative rewards, and to carry out less positive reevaluation than their peers who regarded their situation as manageable. In summary, proactive problem-focused coping among university students has a beneficial effect on the symptoms of depression and anxiety and the overall levels of psychological distress (Gustems & Calderon, 2013).
Stress and Academic Performance in Student Teachers
Starting university is traditionally considered to be a period characterized by many changes that can cause stress among students. A number of factors coincide during this period: being separated from one’s family, entering the job market, having to adjust to an unfamiliar environment, and being faced with a high workload. The psychosocial demands of this process can affect the psychological well-being of students, who present with poorer emotional regulation and empathy, an excessive use of avoidance coping strategies (Wong, Bheung, Chan, Ma, & Tang, 2006), increased anxiety and depression, less activity, and lower productivity.
It also seems that stress levels are generally higher during the first and final years of university, especially during the first academic semester. University is a setting that causes more anxiety than depression, where students are forced to deal with new environments that place great intellectual and social demands on them and the youngest are generally the most vulnerable. In addition, students who have suffered greater emotional exhaustion while obtaining their degree are more likely to experience burnout during their professional career.
Academic performance is a key variable in all university studies, especially for student teachers. Society can only be improved if universities produce high-quality teachers. Furthermore, society is subject to rapid change, and schools and teachers are expected to adapt to the changes and, if possible, instigate them. Perseverance, a love of learning, humor, fairness, and kindness are strengths that can predict the academic performance of university students.
Some studies have highlighted the fact that stress in student teachers varies throughout the course of their degree program (Gardner, 2010), particularly in relation to work placements. Students’ academic performance suffers in stressful situations, but this effect decreases with age, since younger students are more likely to neglect their emotional or mental health (Deasy, Coughlan, Pironom, Jourdan, & Mannix-McNamara, 2014).
In addition, academic performance varies according to gender, coping skills, psychological symptoms. Among men, a certain degree of worry for their academic results and reduction use of cognitive avoidance coping strategies would benefit their academic achievements, whereas in women an excessive amount of worry and reduction of positive coping strategies could negatively affect their academic outcome. Regarding the kinds of problem that produce stress, men report more problems in which they themselves feel involved; regarding content, women describe more health-related problems than men; and in terms of participation, men describe more problems involving friends or colleagues. Some of the sex differences could be explained by the fact that women tend to have more realistic expectations about their abilities, while men overestimate theirs; excessive self-confidence in men can result in poorer academic performance, while higher self-confidence in women increases their chances of success.
The university experience is widely considered to offer students many opportunities for personal development, although each country presents different contexts depending on whether its universities allow students to combine family life with part-time work, scholarship, and studies, and on the resources and opportunities the universities offer, or whether students are more isolated.
Minimizing Stress and Promoting Well-Being in Student Teachers
Despite the absence of investment and lack of student health monitoring at universities (Dooris & Doherty, 2010), a desire to improve academic performance in teacher training programs is encouraging the academic authorities of education faculties to implement effective tutorial action plans to promote the well-being of their students, through a specific institutional agenda and comprehensive health plans.
In order to achieve improvement in these areas, it is crucial to involve staff members, who must adopt a committed attitude toward students. Possible measures to address the main stressors identified in the study by Deasy et al. (2014) include: establishing health and safety committees; avoiding excessive bureaucracy; holding workshops on relaxation, coaching, sexual health, assertiveness, and drug prevention; revising study plans to reduce unnecessary workloads; encouraging participation in sports and cultural clubs (e.g., choirs, big bands, and orchestras); promoting mentoring and peer mentoring; establishing tutorial action plans specifically designed to welcome first-year students and to provide career transition guidance for fourth-year students; and promoting Erasmus scholarships as a driving force for change and learning.
Table 1 lists several training programs to develop teachers’ well-being. Positive psychology also offers the means to enhance well-being through techniques that involve increasing gratitude (e.g., the “Three Good Things” exercise).
Table 1. Training Programs to Develop Teachers’ Well-Being
Managing Occupational Stress through the Development of Emotional Intelligence and Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education. The Garrison Institute (2005), http://www.care4teachers.org
Mindfulness-Based Wellness Education. The Ontario Institute (2005), http://www.geoffreysoloway.com/about.html
Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques in Education. The Impact Foundation (2007), http://passageworks.org/courses/smart-in-education
Jon-Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
The vital importance young people attach to maintaining successful social relationships and avoiding rejection requires them to suppress their own beliefs and convictions to a certain extent and to conform to those of the majority. In this regard, university students do not feel sufficiently empowered to deal with a lack of affection and approval from their peers, and this affects their motivational style. Students who are subject to methodological approaches that offer them less autonomy in their academic activity show lower levels of engagement and self-regulation, which can affect the way that they perceive their studies.
Regarding training for teachers, continuing education plans should focus on the critical incidents identified as causing the most distress and on developing the emotional competences of university students. From a more general and systemic point of view, steps should be taken at three levels: in organizations, to bring about internal changes that prevent the onset of stressful situations; in relations between teachers and organizations, by offering, for example, mentoring and support programs during early career stages; and among individuals, such as mindfulness activities and other techniques that allow them to successfully deal with stressful situations.
The university education of future teachers needs to be rethought. It seems that theoretical, technical, and practical knowledge of the teaching profession is no longer enough, and that a more personal and humanistic style of training is required so that teachers can more effectively deal with stress. Thus, several issues need to be explored more fully: the first is university tutoring, i.e. systematic meetings between teachers and students designed to address personal, emotional, and ethical issues in some depth. Action on this issue is certainly overdue, since tutorials are becoming increasingly used merely for students to air specific or curriculum-related grievances. It would also be useful to promote the liberal arts among future teachers by including a subject dedicated to the great ideas that make up our universal cultural legacy. In addition, the relationship between cultural activity and health is underpinned by the fact that the arts are excellent tools for avoiding cognitive decline, mitigating stressful conditions, and contributing to general well-being (Lehikoinen, 2017).
A system of cross-disciplinary mentoring would help first-year students cope with the transition process and the challenges of the new academic environment by providing them with a guide who sets out reasonable goals and proposes extracurricular activities in which they can develop social skills, thereby enhancing their desire for knowledge innovation and maximizing their potential. The role of the mentor is critical for the development of the practical wisdom that is required in the teaching profession. The support obtained from a well-established leader in a school is essential in keeping teacher morale high. Similarly, if hope is one of the character strengths of the mentor, his or her influence can be crucial for increasing a positive affect in the new teacher.
The university experience provides students with many opportunities to develop a range of psychological dimensions, such as values, skills, attitudes, knowledge, beliefs, and identity. Students with a greater interest in cultural and artistic activities present a more positive self-concept, greater overall psychological maturity, and increased well-being.
It is important for students to identify their character strengths; developing these strengths will help them to deal with stressful situations in a positive way and will strengthen their commitment to learning, and they can apply this knowledge in their future profession as teachers (Epstein, 2018).
The relationship between character strengths and psychological well-being can have major implications for the academic performance of university students. A number of activities and interventions can help teachers increase their character strengths through positive psychology (Seligman et al., 2005). Some relatively simple techniques include: reflecting on the concepts and implications of character strengths; asking questions designed to elicit how we deploy the specific character strengths of a particular virtue in our teaching (e.g., How does a teacher work with students as a community of learners in which everyone is treated fairly and with respect?); providing advice to teachers that is tailored to their character strengths (e.g., teachers who show love of learning should be challenged to examine how they seek out different lenses to examine their teaching and their students’ learning); and developing procedures to increase positive actions and experiences (McGovern, 2011).
The development of resources like coping strategies also enables student teachers to adapt to stressful situations encountered in the professional teaching context, to organize and plan teaching materials more effectively, to apply their skills to discipline and class control, and to better adapt to transitions and changes. In particular, strategies aimed at time management, positive re-evaluation, physical activity, humor, and relaxation can also help future teachers feel better and reduce their anxiety (Gardner, 2010). These personal resources are more easily developed during university education than during the professional career, since neither education legislation nor economic resources allow for their promotion.
The recruitment of teachers before and after their training should be based on an appropriate profile that allows teachers to feel and foment well-being, to be a reference in this respect for their students, and to stay in the profession for a long time. Educational institutions (universities, schools, etc.) should be sensitive to these profiles and initiate training and recruitment systems that ensure the greatest success possible in obtaining the most suitable professional profiles. Future research would do well to investigate further outcomes of teacher personality profiles, including supervised job performance, work commitment, attrition, and student outcomes (Perera, Granziera, & McIlveen, 2018).
Happiness and well-being depend substantially on the kind of life we lead and the kind of people we are. The role of the teacher and of education should, therefore, be constructed around this thesis.
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