This study contributed new findings to the construct of meaningful work (MW) and negative impacts on MW. In other professional samples, finding meaning in work has been shown to be an effective buffer when facing workplace adversity. However, prior investigation has neither identified nor explored the specific sources and mechanisms of meaningful work that teachers derive from educating trauma-affected students. Within a cross-sectional sample of primary and secondary teachers (N = 18) working in trauma-affected classrooms, two interrelated sources of MW: (1) practice pedagogy and (2) teacher wellbeing were further analysed for discussion via Rosso, Dekas, and Wrzesniewski’s (2010) four mechanisms of MW (i.e., individuation, self-connection, contribution, and unification). These findings argue for the new development of trauma-informed pedagogies that both (1) enable teachers to redress the complex and unmet needs of students and (2) incorporate domains of meaning that teachers bring to their trauma-affected work.
Brunzell, T., Stokes, H., & Waters, L. (2018). Why Do You Work with Struggling Students? Teacher Perceptions of Meaningful Work in Trauma-Impacted Classrooms. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(2). https://doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2018v43n2.7