In this paper, the authors introduced a
new concept in SLA called “teacher immunity”; that is, when teachers strive to
handle stress, difficulties of their teaching in the classroom to protect
themselves against negative impact of stress and burnout. To explain the reason
why teacher immunity is a double-edged sword, the authors firs gave a clear biological
definition of immunity and explained that while immunity is a vital response of
human beings’ organs, it can sometimes be harmful for the body by being
hyperactive. Similarly, teachers sometimes develop maladaptive strategies to
cope with their stress that leads them to be overprotective, conservative, and resistant
to change and growth. To explain the rationale behind this concept the authors
used narrative formation (MacAdams, 2008) and self-organization from complex
theory (Larsen-Freeman, 2012) as theoretical frameworks.

The emergence of teacher immunity is
said to employ four key phases: 1) triggering
stage; a destabilizing event that leads to a readiness, necessity to develop
immunity, 2) linking stage; linking specific behaviors
to specific triggers where they have shown to be helpful (i.e., employ coping
strategies that link to specific disturbances), 3) realignment
stage; a sense of regaining control over teaching situation, 4) stabilization
stage; confirming linked behaviors as part of professional identity; becoming
immune.

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Finally, the authors suggested three
steps to take in order for the teachers to be encouraged self-organized
development and reboot the system:

1.    
Awareness raising: raising awareness of the potential existence of
counterproductive coping strategies. For instance, by developing a course for
teacher training.

2.    
Transformative coping strategies: making teachers familiar with
helpful coping strategies; for example, being proactive, staying patient, asking
for help, evaluating a repertoire of solutions, finding a creative way to
resist negative energy.

3.    
Re-narrating immunity: to stabilize the transformation of
the coping behaviors, encouraging the reformation of appropriate life
narratives. 

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