The needs and demands experienced by teachers in special needs schools : guidelines for teacher support to promote wellness
Jonker, Elizabeth Catharina Johanna
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The aim of this study was to investigate the demands, pressures and needs experienced by teachers in special needs schools (referred to as schools with learners with barriers to learning), with the aim of providing guidelines for teacher support to promote wellness. To attain this aim, the study had the following specific objectives or aims: 1. To determine the demands made on and pressures experienced by teachers as stressors. 2. To determine the needs which teachers experience to alleviate these stressors that arise as a result of the demands and pressures experienced by teachers in a special needs school. 3. The provision of guidelines for teacher support in order to promote wellness. 4. To make recommendations for the promotion of the wellness of teachers in a special needs school. A qualitative research design was considered to be the most appropriate for gaining in-depth insight into the demands, pressures and needs of these teachers. Data was collected through phenomenological interviews and direct observations. This data was then organised into categories and subcategories and direct quotations were presented verbatim. Research findings were compared with the relevant literature to identify existing information and possible differences, and the findings were then recorded in the form of two articles. As explained above, the primary goal of this study was to identify and describe the demands and needs experienced by teachers in special needs schools and to formulate guidelines for support to promote wellness. The study also showed that students need mentally and physically fit adults who can guide them as they find their way in the world. It is thus necessary to develop and promote the use of programmes and instruments to identify specific needs and stressors, so as to more accurately predict, prevent and alleviate demands that can be detrimental to health, and to provide and support guidelines to promote wellness in teachers..
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