“I teach, therefore i am”: The serial relationship between perceived vulnerability to disease, fear of Covid-19, teacher identification and teacher satisfaction
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In early 2020, school closures were implemented globally to curb the spread of the COVID19 pandemic. In South Africa, emergency remote teaching was not sustainable, and conventional teaching resumed in the context of the second and third waves of the pandemic, heightening fear and anxiety about infection among teachers. The pandemic necessitated shifts in the scope of a teacher’s job, potentially impacting their professional identity and job satisfaction. This study investigated the interrelationship between teaching identification, teaching satisfaction, fear of COVID-19 and perceived vulnerability to disease among a sample of South African school teachers (n = 355). A serial mediation analysis supported the hypotheses that teaching identification mediated both the relationship between fear of COVID-19 and teacher satisfaction and the association between perceived vulnerability to disease, fear of COVID-19 and teacher satisfaction. The findings suggest that teacher identification is a potential protective factor, and strengthening professional identification can potentially assist teachers as they negotiate the uncertainty and stress associated with the current pandemic.