Teacher pathways to resilience: interpretations of teacher adjustment to HIV/AIDS-related challenges
Theron, Linda C.
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Resilience (or the capacity to adjust well to significant risk) is conceptualized as a dynamic, reciprocal transaction that occurs between people and their social ecologies. An outcome of resilience relies on a person, who has been placed at risk for maladaptive outcomes, navigating towards, and/or petitioning for wellness-promoting resources and co-incidental, wellness-affirming systemic responses. The understanding of teacher resilience offered in this chapter is couched in this ecosystemic conceptualization of resilience. From this perspective, one type of wellness-affirming systemic response can be found in resilience-promoting interventions with people at risk. The Resilient Educators (REds) program is one such intervention that was evaluated as efficacious in encouraging teacher resilience to the challenges of the HIV&AIDS pandemic. However, there is a paucity of deep understanding of the nature of teacher resilience, particularly when teachers are HIV&AIDS-challenged. This is the gap which the following chapter aims to fill. Drawing on three case studies from the REds intervention project, this chapter uses visual and narrative data to explore the multidimensional and co-constructed complexity of teacher resilience to the challenges of the HIV&AIDS pandemic. Finally, the emerging understanding of resilience as a teacher - system construct invites critical examination of current discourses of teacher vulnerability and resilience.