Just prior to delivering the talks at Moore Theological College, Dr Guthrie was asked to take part in a live interview on The Pastor’s Heart.
We need to talk about resilience. The term’s been around for a long time, well, at least for a couple of decades in education. Perhaps it has been around long enough to be taken for granted. The focus of the recent EdComm Conference was on Resilient Teaching. I asked some of the attendees how familiar they were with the term. Some said they’d been thinking about it as an individual but it was not a topic that had received much attention at their school. Others said they were having lively debates with their fellow teachers about the relevance of resilience (and wellness) and had registered for the conference to find out what Dr Donald Guthrie had to say about it. In fact, three respondents from different schools said that their principals had sponsored up to a dozen staff to attend the conference with a view to promoting informed discourse and practical action with the rest of the staff on their return.
'The heart of every leader must be humble, seeking the good of others and suspicious of one's own motives' James Plueddemann, Leading across cultures (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p77).
Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, was one of the earliest researchers to study the characteristics that underpin flourishing. His book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology, published in 2002, popularised his ideas about how to flourish. Before this, the focus of psychology had been to investigate disorder: why mental illness occurred and how to treat it. Because Dr Seligman believes that his research findings show that an individual can strengthen many of the aspects of behaviour and the virtues he showed to underpin resilience, he would answer YES to the question ‘do we have a choice?’
Educators are regularly reported as belonging to the one of the most stressful occupations. The effects of stress are leading to low teacher retention rates and a high prevalence of burnout. There has to be a better way! How can teachers set about reducing their feelings of burnout and improve motivation and work engagement?
The Richard Johnson lecture, an activity of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), was delivered on March 14th, 2018. The lecture series ‘seeks to highlight Christianity’s relevance to society and positively contribute to public discourse on key aspects of civil life’.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is about four times more important than IQ in determining professional success (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.103). It affects the capacity for self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.103). It is a combination of EQ self, EQ others and Cultural Intelligence (CQ).
‘Self-care is never a selfish act … it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we listen to true self and give it the care it truly requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch’ (Palmer, P., Let Your Life Speak, quoted in Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, p.55).
The launch of the 2018 Anglican Schools/Youthworks College and EdComm Internship program
Many Anglican schools and colleges have expressed the need for more committed and high quality Christian people to join the teaching profession and contribute to the exciting task of building into the lives of students - the next generation of adults. This aligns with the EdComm goal of encouraging Christians to consider teaching as a vocation.
‘As professions, Teaching and Nursing tend to be at the top of the scale when it comes to lack of self-care.’ (Said by a Clinical Psychologist at an AIS seminar some years ago.) I’ve never forgotten this statement and I’ve always grappled with how we can improve this situation for teachers.