Letter from the Editors
As we begin a new school year, we are again excited about seeing students return, setting up classrooms, and preparing curricula. This year we are also noting change. This spring the Montana Office of Public Instruction announced proposed changes in areas such as licensure; we are still unpacking how these changes will impact Montana teachers. As a whole, the teaching profession is also experiencing extremely challenging times. Nationwide and in Montana, we are experiencing a teaching shortage. This means that we will have new faces in our profession and many veteran teachers will be asked to take on new challenges. We pivot back to one important concept during the many changes and challenges that education faces this coming school year and beyond, and that concept is resiliency.
Resilience is a term that is increasingly being used in education and research to explain the complexities of individual and group responses to change as well as traumatic and challenging situations. “Resilience is the ability to thrive and not just survive. It’s how we deal with adversity—by drawing on our inner resources so that we can emerge from a tough time stronger and better equipped to deal with setbacks or challenges” (Aguilar, 2021, para. 3). Our hope for this coming academic year is that we are kind and supportive to one another as we collectively find our resilience and works towards our common goal of providing the best education possible for Montana students.
The end goal, of course, is not just to retain warm adult bodies in classrooms but to meet the needs of our students. Kids need passionate, effective, committed educators. In order to retain such people, school leaders need to provide teachers with resources to meet the challenges they’ll encounter in their work so that they can learn from those challenges, surmount them, and fulfill their purpose (Aguilar, 2019, para. 15).
As the warm sun turns to falling leaves as we embark on another new school year, we wish you all the best for 2022-2023. May it be filled with strength, courage, and a return to joy.
Drs. Kari Dahle-Huff and Rachael Waller
Aguilar. E. (2019, May 6). Why It's So Important That Teachers Cultivate Their Own Resilience. KQED Mind Shift. https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/53560/why-its-so-important-that-teachers-cultivate-their-own-resilience
Aguilar, E. (2021, October 1). The Resilient Educator / What Does a Resilient Educator Do? ASCD. https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/the-resilient-educator-what-does-a-resilient-educator-do
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