“We’re all paddling like mad” A qualitative study on teacher well-being and resilience

  • Laura Hanson

Student thesis: Doctor of Counselling Psychology


The aim of this study was to explore experienced teachers’ thoughts and feelings about well-being and resilience at work. A qualitative methodology and critical realist stance were adopted and a semi-structured interview was designed. Ten teachers were recruited via purposive, snowball sampling and interviews were recorded and transcribed before being subjected to reflective thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Nine key themes were developed, these included: ‘Well-being has multiple dimensions’, ‘Resilience is a response to adversity’, ‘Multiple factors support well-being & resilience’, ‘Beliefs about resilience diverge’, ‘Fundamental pressures impact well-being and resilience’, ‘Senior managers can create stressful school cultures’, ‘Parental and public disrespect is detrimental to well-being’, ‘Attitudes and approaches to teacher well-being are problematic’ and ‘Teacher responses to pressures can be problematic’. My analysis, therefore, helps to elucidate and problematise well-being and resilience in teaching, with implications for interventions designed to address both constructs. Limitations related to subjectivity mean that generalisations cannot be made.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorTerry Hanley (Supervisor) & Pamela Qualter (Supervisor)


  • teacher
  • qualitative
  • well-being
  • resilience

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