Finding hope in tragedy : people in crisis

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Gill, Carol
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2001
The purpose of this qualitative study was two-fold: to explore the process through which tornado survivors sustain or re-claim their hopefulness in the aftermath of tragedy; and to then apply the knowledge of that process to teachers in- crisis. It is my belief that teachers do not perceive daily "mini-crises" in the school as such and therefore, do not employ strategies to re-new themselves. This series of mini-crises build until they reach a magnitude similar to the stress one undergoes in a sudden, acute disaster such as a tornado. This may result in a feeling of diminished hope as well as an inability to cope. Perhaps if these teachers could recognize a mini-crisis as such and employ strategies similar to the tornado survivors to sustain or re-claim their hope, we would have less educators on stress leaves, burning out, or leaving the profession. Data were collected through a Hope Survey Scale and interviews with tornado survivors and, for teachers, through a stress survey and a survey of typical school crises with consideration to how individual teachers cope with these. Strategies for finding, maintaining, or re-building hope are discussed in terms of four common themes (self, cognitive processes, relationships, and spiritual). Results appear to suggest that, while both tornado survivors and teachers are aware of and utilize similar components found within the four hope-building themes, there are specific differences in how these components are applied, as well as in perceptions of the situation that constitute the difference between the hope-building strategies of the two comparative groups.
viii, 178 leaves ; 29 cm. --
Hope , Teachers -- Job stress