Post-Traumatic Growth and Protection From Burnout in Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Laura Sokal University of Winnipeg
  • Lesley Eblie Trudel University of Winnipeg
  • Carl Heaman-Warne University of Winnipeg



Teachers have demonstrated a wide range of responses to the challenges of teaching within a pandemic. The current study investigated the relationship between resilience and post-traumatic growth in teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on administration of the Maslach Burnout Inventory in 2022, four teachers demonstrated high levels of resilience, indicating the potential that they had experienced post-traumatic growth. Follow-up interviews were therefore conducted to investigate whether these teachers demonstrated all seven characteristics of post-traumatic growth. Although all four resilient teachers indicated experiencing several characteristics, only two teachers demonstrated post-traumatic growth. The findings support a clear distinction between resilience and post-traumatic growth. Implications related to future research using both qualitative and quantitative methods to further illuminate the processes and conditions of post-traumatic growth are discussed.

Keywords: Post-traumatic growth, teachers, pandemic, resilience, Canada

Les enseignants ont fait preuve d'un large éventail de réactions face aux défis de l'enseignement dans le cadre d'une pandémie. La présente étude a examiné la relation entre la résilience et la croissance post-traumatique chez les enseignants pendant la pandémie de COVID-19. L'administration du Maslach Burnout Inventory, un questionnaire évaluant les symptômes de l’épuisement professionnel, en 2022 a révélé des niveaux élevés de résilience chez quatre enseignants, indiquant la possibilité qu'ils aient connu une croissance post-traumatique. Des entrevues de suivi ont donc été menés pour déterminer si ces enseignants présentaient les sept caractéristiques de la croissance post-traumatique. Bien que les quatre enseignants résilients aient indiqué avoir vécu plusieurs de ces éléments, seuls deux enseignants ont fait preuve d'une croissance post-traumatique. Les résultats soutiennent une distinction claire entre la résilience et la croissance post-traumatique. L’article discute des implications liées aux recherches futures utilisant des méthodes qualitatives et quantitatives pour éclairer davantage les processus et les conditions de la croissance post-traumatique.

Mots clés : croissance post-traumatique, enseignants, pandémie, résilience, Canada

Author Biographies

Laura Sokal, University of Winnipeg

An award-winning teacher, Laura Sokal has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers and four edited books. Aside from working in schools in Canada, as a Child Life Therapist at Children’s Hospital, and as Associate Dean of Education, Laura has taught in five countries. She is active is several community groups and international associations related to inclusive practices. Laura appreciates learning with and from her students, a privilege she has enjoyed for over 38 years.

Lesley Eblie Trudel, University of Winnipeg

Dr. Lesley Eblie Trudel has been successfully involved in public education in Manitoba Canada for over thirty years. She has held positions ranging from instructional to administrative, working with diverse populations in both urban and rural settings. Prior to her position at the University of Winnipeg, Lesley was an Assistant Superintendent of Schools. In January 2019, Lesley joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg. In February 2021, she accepted the position of Associate Dean in the faculty. Lesley is a collaborative leader with a keen interest in organizational learning and systemic change, as it pertains to diverse and inclusive educational communities.

Carl Heaman-Warne, University of Winnipeg

Carl Heaman-Warne is a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba with a research interest in vicarious trauma and resilience. He is an instructor in the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Winnipeg and is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist and an Approved Supervisor Mentor through the Canadian Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. 



How to Cite

Sokal, L., Eblie Trudel, L. ., & Heaman-Warne, C. (2023). Post-Traumatic Growth and Protection From Burnout in Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 69(2), 254–271.