This paper examines the role of resilience in teacher effectiveness. The concept of resilience is located in the discourse of teaching as emotional practice and is found to be a multidimensional, socially constructed concept that is relative, dynamic and developmental in nature. The paper draws upon findings from a four year research project which explored career long variations in teachers’ commitment and effectiveness.
Portraits of three resilient teachers in their early, mid and late careers are used to explore the interaction between teachers’ sense of efficacy, professional and personal identities, and their management of the interaction between these and the professional, situated and personal Scenarios which they experience in each professional life phase. Teachers’ capacity to manage such interactions is a sophisticated process which contributes strongly to the relative strength of their resilience. Understandings of the role of resilience in teachers’ management of the interactions between work and life over the course of a career and in different contexts adds to existing knowledge of variations in teachers’ work, lives, and effectiveness and contributes to the debate on standards, quality and retention.