Die psigologiese welstand en karaktersterktes van Lewensvaardighede onderwysers
De Lange, Chantel
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The teacher devotes a great deal of time of his or her day at the school, and therefore the researcher thought it appropriate to investigate what Life Skill teachers’ (who teach Life Skills to grade 4 to grade 6 learners) psychological well-being and character strengths are. The researcher specifically paid attention to the Life Skills teacher, because Life Skills is a subject where learners are developed holistically. The general objective of the investigation was to determine what the character strengths of Life Skills teachers are and with the knowledge of character strengths, whether they can maintain their psychological well-being. The specific objectives of the study were: 1 To determine how Life Skills teachers who have knowledge of their character strengths can be used for the benefit of learners; and 2 To determine how Life Skills teachers can maintain good psychological well-being. The research consists of two parts to collect as much information as possible about the topic. The two parts of the research deal with the character strengths and with the psychological well- being of teachers. To investigate these two parts of the research, a literature study was done to obtain background information about the topic. Thereafter, data was collected from the participants. This data was collected by the researcher by means of a mixed-method research method. Firstly, the researcher followed the quantitative research method, where participants were given two questionnaires to determine participants’ character strengths and psychological well-being. Thereafter, the researcher used the qualitative research method, where interviews with participants were held telephonically, regarding their character strengths and psychological well-being. From the research, it was determined that all the participants were aware that they had character strengths and the character strengths that most of the participants have are love, thankfulness and openness. Character strengths that participants have less of are self- regulation, bravery, life force, modesty, forgiveness and grace. According to the participants, it is important for teachers to be aware of their character strengths in order to know what character strengths best fit the group of learners in front of them. Communication skills, self-confidence, love, empathy, caring and motivation are character strengths, named by participants, that teachers can use inside the classroom in order to approach learners positively inside the classroom and by doing that, the learners can develop holistically. Questionnaires, work sessions, seminars, motivation and appreciation were identified, by the participants, which can be utilised to make teachers more aware of their character strengths and to develop the character strengths of teachers. The school management team also plays an important part in the improvement and awareness of teachers’ character strengths. Regarding the psychological well-being of the teachers, it emerged from the research, that there are seven from the nine participants who prosper and the other two experience moderate psychological well-being. All the participants showed that a teacher’s psychological well-being influences learners inside the classroom. When the teacher experiences positive psychological well-being, learners are positively influenced and the opposite can also be said about teachers experiencing negative psychological well-being. When a teacher experiences positive psychological well-being, the classroom environment turns into a positive, cooperative environment. The participants showed that a lack of support, emotional problems, financial problems, pressure, negative relationships, a negative workplace and undisciplined learners have a negative influence on a teacher’s psychological well-being. The participants also pointed out elements that can improve the psychological well-being of a teacher. These points include: support, praise, a positive work environment, co-operation, a positive attitude towards your profession, guidance, motivation, appreciation, positive relationships and the ability to solve problems. These are all factors that add to the psychological well-being of a teacher. The researcher is of the opinion that follow-up studies can be done. These studies may include the development of an intervention plan that would help teachers to improve their psychological well-being, and an investigation can be launched to determine how to develop teachers’ character strengths so that they can be used to benefit the learners inside the classroom.
- Education