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Teacher Regenesis: Supporting Teacher Resiliency Through Wellness
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Previous studies demonstrate that weight loss has many benefits, but research has yet to focus on how a physically healthy lifestyle is beneficial to teachers in our schools. Although past research has provided insight into how emotional and occupational wellness impacts stress, job burnout, and self-efficacy, few studies focus on how the physical aspect of wellness plays a role in the teacher’s ability to create a classroom that is healthy, and most importantly, effective. This research study was conducted as a phenomenological study of six White female urban school teachers who have transitioned from obesity to wellness. A qualitative research framework was adopted to answer five research questions: (1) how do teachers define obesity? (2) How do teachers define wellness? (3) How do teachers describe their teaching behaviors as it relates to obesity? (4) How do teachers describe their teaching behaviors as it relates to wellness? And (5) how do teachers describe their transition from obesity to wellness in the school environment? Results of this study yielded the following themes related to the experience of the six white female urban school teachers: (1) the teachers had varying definitions of obesity that reflect the stigma attached to obesity in our country, while the teachers definitions of wellness reflect an understanding of its synergistic nature, with a heavy focus on physical and emotional wellness; (2) due to the stigma attached to obesity and the social consequences of obesity, the teachers have become hyper-aware of the comments and judgments made about obese people, leading to mental and emotional consequences that impact behavior inside the school environment, their self-esteem, and their self-efficacy; (3) by transitioning from obesity to wellness, the teachers experienced Teacher Regenesis, in which energy and confidence gained from physical activity is diffused into other areas of their lives. The success experienced in physical exercise and weight loss also allows for an infusion of healthy wellness behaviors in other areas of their lives; and (4) the transition period from obesity to wellness was influenced by both stressors and resources that were available to them inside the school environment.
Deuermeyer, Elizabeth Ellen (2016). Teacher Regenesis: Supporting Teacher Resiliency Through Wellness. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from