An Exploration of the Relationship of School District Restructuring to Educator Plateauing and Resiliency.Report as inadecuate

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This paper presents findings of a study that examined the effect of school restructuring on teacher plateauing and teacher resiliency. Plateauing occurs when an individual perceives his or her situation as stagnant and devoid of challenge. Data were gathered through: (1) observations of a school district undergoing restructuring under the leadership of a new superintendent; (2) document analysis; (3) a questionnaire administered to all (184) professional district staff; and (4) interviews with 25 survey respondents--15 who reported low levels of plateauing (LPs) and 10 who reported very high levels of plateauing (HPs). Findings indicate that the most resilient educators were also the least plateaued and the most likely to become involved in restructuring efforts. However, they tended to be more interested in their own classroom-related activities and their own professional development than in schoolwide activities. The most challenging group for school leaders were those who perceived themselves to be high plateauers (HPs). They exhibited lower levels of resiliency, expressed negative attitudes toward restructuring, reported that they felt stuck, and were unwilling or unable to take risks. Suggestions to deal with HPs include: educate HPs about plateauing; provide counseling to improve HPs' professional self-esteem; focus HPs' energies on changeable situations; and shift HPs laterally into new roles or environments. (LMI)

Descriptors: Burnout, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Job Satisfaction, Morale, Organizational Climate, Professional Development, School Districts, School Restructuring, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Burnout, Teacher Participation, Teacher Persistence

Author: Milstein, Mike M.


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