She’s supporting them; who’s supporting her? Preschool center-level social-emotional supports and teacher well-being
Zinsser, Katherine M.
Christensen, Claire G.
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Preschool teachers across the country have been charged to prepare children socially and emotionally for kindergarten. Teachers working in preschool centers are supporting children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) within a rich ecology of emotion and social relationships and the present study considers how the supports implemented for children’s SEL at the centerlevel are associated with teachers’ psychological health and workplace experiences. Hierarchical linear models were constructed using data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 cohort. Results indicate that although teachers work in individual classrooms, they share common perceptions at the center-level of their workplace climate, access to support, and, although to a lesser extent, experience commonalities in psychological health and job satisfaction. Furthermore, in centers that had implemented more supports for children’s SEL (including access to mental health consultants, classroom curriculum, and training and resources for teachers) teachers were less depressed, more satisfied with their jobs, felt more supported in managing challenging behavior, and viewed the workplace climate of their center as more positive. Findings are discussed in light of the national efforts to increase and retain a highquality early childhood workforce.
SubjectEarly childhood education
Social emotional learning