Hope Surpasses Resilience as Burnout Predictor

In the past, resilience has been used as the main predictor for educator burnout – but not anymore. Our studies have shown that measuring individual and collective Hope levels is more accurate at predicting educator burnout.

Hope vs. Resilience

If Resilience and Hope are used as measurements, we need to understand their definitions and see how they differ.

Our Definition of Hope: the belief that tomorrow will be better than today, and that you have the power to make it so.

The Definition of Resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.

Already, we have a vastly different quality of life from these two definitions. While Hope provides a positive outlook on the future and a path for accomplishing that betterment, resilience simply states that recovery is possible if one has the capacity. Thus, resilience is only for those who already have a high capacity for it. We know that hardship reduces one’s ability to deal with stress and adversity without the proper strategies. Without Hope. So why would we lean on resilience as a predictor of burnout when it can diminish so quickly?

The Problem with Resilience

There is still something admirable in dealing well with crisis and returning relatively quickly to a pre-crisis state, like a rubber band. But, the more times rubber bands are stretched and returned to their pre-stretch state, the more likely that band will become less resilient over time and less likely to return to its ‘before’ condition. One teacher’s resilience today may be very different next year or even next month, and that difference will usually decline.

Resilience focuses on moving backward, to dealing with times of crisis so that we can return to our pre-crisis state. Moving backward doesn’t help anyone, especially if their pre-crisis state does not buffer from incoming crisis.

Not only is resilience likely to decline over time, but it puts an emphasis on trying to maintain a pattern, not change and improve it. We often discuss how creating new, healthier patterns through Hope work changes children’s lives, but what about teachers’ lives?

The Benefit of Hope

When you experience a crisis, Hope offers a way to improve your post-crisis circumstances. Resilience only sends you back to your pre-crisis circumstances.

Hope moves us forward. We have the power to make our tomorrow better than today, and certainly better than the yesterday resilience seems so fond of. Unlike resilience, Hope is more likely to stay steady or grow over time so if a teacher has measured hope levels, it is far easier to predict their risk for burnout.

The less Hope a teacher has, the more likely they will burn out. Even if a teacher starts as being highly resilient, that may not last. Our studies found that Hope acts as a buffer to crisis and adversity while resilience is only a way to hold out through the stress while still experiencing it full force, making the measurement less reliable over time.

Steadily improving one’s own circumstances builds upon itself. The longer a teacher has Hope, the more they will gain because it builds up, unlike resilience which takes away from itself. Over time, this makes Hope a much more reliable predictor.

Hope Reduces Turnover

The biggest indicator of teacher burnout is individual Hope, but the most significant school turnover predictor is collective Hope. If teachers have a hope community built in their school and feel collectively hopeful and supported by their school, they are far less likely to burn out. Reduced educator burnout also reduces staff turnover, creating a better place to work and learn.

Building a Hope Community Starts with You

Teachers, counselors, and school staff create Hope communities in their schools. My Best Me helps students with individual hope and helps teachers and schools with collective hope communities.

At Hope Rising SEL, we care about your students, and we care about you, too. Never forget, Hope is for everyone, and it starts with you.


Hope Rising SEL’s definition of Hope is making a difference in many schools and communities across the country.

If your school isn’t using My Best Me yet, we would love to help you bring Hope to your school. Our sales team is ready to answer your questions and demo My Best Me for you. Contact us to start spreading Hope in your school.

Work Life Balance for Teachers

Work/Life Balance as an Educator

“You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.”

Doug Floyd

Harmony is beautiful because it includes many notes

Teachers, your day to day life is demanding!  It’s time to take a look at how you can juggle all the balls of home life and school life without having them crash down on you.

But first, let’s establish the “why” – why is having this work/life balance so important?

There are many things that clamor for your attention from the time you get up in the morning to the time you lie down at night. How can you get it all done? This is where the balance is essential. You want to meet the needs of those around you, but need a plan to make it happen so that you down feel the burden.

A sense of harmony is just around the corner, but where do you start?

CREATE A SCHEDULE

Make a basic schedule to keep you on track. Of course, each day is different, but a basic plan gives the guideline. Decide how much time the day-to-day tasks require. Be sure and set a regular bedtime.  Setting a bedtime for your own children helps them perform better at school. Likewise, setting a bedtime for yourself will make you more effective throughout your day. Late night grading papers without proper sleep will make you sluggish and unable to effectively meet all the demands coming your way the next day.

PRIORITIZE AND SET BOUNDARIES

Make a basic list outline of what is most important to you. For instance, family, health, classroom, outside meetings, etc. You give so much to your classroom children. Make sure they aren’t getting more of you than your own spouse or family at home. It’s okay to say no to some things; and if you have set the boundaries, you will keep the big picture at the forefront.

BACK AWAY WHEN NEEDED

You can’t do it all all the time. When you are feeling bogged down, back away from the chaos and look at the objective. You’ll find that there are things you can let go of without compromising the end goal.

Each of your students need you at your best. You wouldn’t think of investing $100,000 or more on building a house without having a plan. But your worth is far greater. Make a plan. This will take some effort in the beginning, but you’ll have a head start at getting to a place of experiencing harmony.

Hope Rising SEL brings hope to classrooms and students through the world’s first hope-certified social emotional learning curriculum, My Best Me.
teacher relaxing outside in the summer time

De-Stress, Teachers

De-Stress, Teachers

Hats off and cheers to teachers!  You did it! If you’re reading this, you survived teaching through a pandemic—uncharted waters. Our appreciation and admiration goes out to you beyond words. All the things you had in place through your education and experience were like a “table cloth trick” yanked away for you to try to keep everything in place on the table with your students learning.  Now another school year is in the books!

If you got used to virtual learning/teaching, not so fast, you will more than likely return to your more familiar in-person teaching if you haven’t already.  Your rhythms and routines have changed back and forth. Like a chameleon, you have adapted and made it work.

Teachers, The old McDonald’s commercial jingle said, “You deserve a break today…” If anyone has deserved it, it is you!

Here are a few tips to put your school year in the past and enjoy a summer of relaxation and de-stressing:

  • Treat yourself –You are a survivor and this is an act of self-care.  This may mean going to your local ice cream place and splurging on your favorite sundae or purchasing that pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on.
  • Read a good book – Your time off is a great time to enjoy a book by the pool, on a beach, or on a hammock in the backyard.  Your escape to another time or another place through reading distracts you from daily stressors.
  • Exercise – Go to your neighborhood gym to do your favorite work-out or join a session of fun classes.  Keeping your body fit through exercise will release endorphins that improve your physical and emotional being.
  • Get away from the routines and schedules – If your time and resources can’t afford an out-of-town vacation, spend a night away at a hotel or bed and breakfast.  Take a day trip to a great state park or water park.
  • Make memories – Be intentional about going to lunch with friends and about having fun with children and/or grandchildren.  Now is the time, because it slips away so quickly.
  • Revive an old hobby – Creativity through writing helps to manage emotions.  Creativity through drawing and painting expresses emotions.  Music is therapeutic in relaxation.

The pandemic took its toll.  If your emotional health is in serious jeopardy, please seek out a good counselor to work through this.  You are valuable, teacher. Your self-care is important to students and parents alike.  Have a blast during this much needed summer break!


Hope Rising Logo