Search Research Library:
The purpose of this study was to examine areas of stress perception among rural Missouri elementary educators and offer a resilience-based training protocol from HeartMath® to determine if changes in levels of resilience exist after training. Due to missing data, the original study was modified to examine teachers’ responses to two instruments. Their personal and organizational domains were assessed with the Personal and Organization Quality Assessment-Revised (POQA-R) over time and an examination of their level of emotional intelligence using the Emotional Quotient inventory: short form (EQi:S) was conducted among this sample (N=26). The POQA-R was administered during the fall, spring, and summer of one academic year and the EQi:S was administered once electronically in the spring. The findings from the 24 dimensions on the POQA-R using repeated measures statistical analysis with Bonferroni correction reveals that in the areas of calmness and freedom of expression both were significantly lower in the fall compared to the summer (p<.05). This suggests that teachers’ job demands negatively affect their perception of calmness and freedom of expression, compared to summer levels. As Barsade (2002) has revealed the concept of emotional contagion, where emotions radiate outward from the most powerful person in the classroom, teachers emotional state may affect the students in the classroom, colleagues, and administrators. Further investigation into strategies that can maintain stress resilience, i.e., calmness and freedom of expression, throughout the school year are warranted. The results of the means for the eight areas within the EQi:S and for overall emotional intelligence were not significant between the normative and sample groups.