School staff play a momentous role in the recovery of students following a disaster. Students spend a generous portion of their school years interacting with teachers that set a path for psychological and mental growth. When teachers struggle with coping, meaning making and wellness, they may not be adequately able to model resiliency skills for their students. A sample of 39 teachers completed an anonymous online survey about their experiences four years after Hurricane Sandy. The results of this sample of teachers was compared with responses by 25 teachers about their coping who responded to a similar survey immediately after the disaster occurred. How teachers engaged in wellness, coping and meaning making in terms of activities selected and amount of time devoted during the different time periods will be presented. Gender and previous exposure to trauma as notable predictors on resiliency were also examined. Implications for the support of teachers following disasters will be discussed.

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Dr. Thomas Demaria

Academic Department

Psychology Department