Teacher Stress, Teacher Unintentional Bias, and Teacher Well-Being Before and During COVID-19





teacher stress, bias, unintentional bias, subjective well-being


Almost half of all teachers in the United States report high levels of daily stress from teaching, making it one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Teacher stress is detrimental to one’s health and well-being, leading to poor academic outcomes for students and a hostile classroom environment, both barriers for young minds to learn. The COVID-19 pandemic and fear of personal health have exacerbated teacher stress levels. Individual factors that contribute to stress, such as being tired or making quick judgments, are linked to the tendency to rely on automatic cognitive processes (e.g., unintentional biases) rather than more controlled processes; these factors lead to discriminatory acts toward minoritized students. In the Vulnerable Decision Point model, the root causes of minoritized students' experiences of discriminatory acts of disproportionate discipline in schools are explained by the impact of stress on teachers’ automatic processing and unintentional racial bias (URB). Current research for teacher stress includes ways to identify and reduce stress but have only achieved moderate effect sizes driving the need to identify additional strategies for addressing teacher stress, such as teacher subjective well-being (SWB). SWB skills can include mindfulness, resiliency, and self-efficacy, thus providing opportunities to mitigate the effects of daily stressors on unintentional biases by being conscious of fast decision-making and escalation of unexpected behaviors. The data includes self-reports from middle school teachers who completed baseline demographic questionnaires and various scales prior to randomization and intervention implementation. This study aims to understand how preexisting conditions of teacher perceived stress and teacher SWB have perpetuated unintentional biases toward Black students and may have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Social & Behavioral Sciences, Business, Education