Teacher Stress

It has been said that teaching is one of the most stressful jobs on earth.  It is due in part to the fact that teachers must interact in a positive way during the entire school day even if they aren't emotionally up to it.  Other professions typically have down time where they can re-group or just get away from people for awhile but teachers are "on" from the minute they walk into the school to the minute they leave.  This is with both peers and students.  Some people are quick to say that teachers shouldn't be stressed because they have all these holidays and work only from 8-3.  Until you have been in the classroom for a year, you really have no right to make a comment.  Try it.... see how you like it.

Being negative with our teachers is definitely not helpful.  If you are a parent of a child in school, remember the teacher is there to help your child succeed.  Your child may require a united front with the teacher not an aggressive approach with you against the teacher.  And teachers, parents are there to be supportive of their child.  Ask questions.  Find out as much information you can about the environment, the relationship, the parent, and don't make assumptions or judgements. Working together requires both parties to come together and teach the child discipline and boundaries.

Another extremely important factor to consider is the number of students in the classroom who may need extra time and attention and the lack of resources.  Teachers can only do so much with the resources they have.  The expectation that the teacher is responsible for "everything" the child does and accomplishes may be a lofty expectation.  Teaching over 25 students in a classroom requires the teacher to in some cases, plan and implement individual lessons and outcomes.  This can be extremely hard to accomplish if there are not sufficient resources in place.

Teacher stress is not good for ANYONE.  Help your teachers by providing them with support and compassion.  This will go a long way in retaining our teachers who are exceptional at their job but starting to feel burned out because of the judgements and scrutiny.  Teachers make sure that if you are feeling stressed that YOU do something about it.  You sometimes can't change your environment but you can change your reaction to it.  Do something different if it's not working for you.

1.  Meditate or find an exercise class that you enjoy
2.  Manage your marking and ask for assistance if you require it.
3.  Change your reaction to challenging students and peers.  You can't control them but you can control yourself.
4.  Seek out professional services or a mental health advisor or counsellor
5.  Keep your classroom free of chaos by organizing your desk and belongings.
6.  Take a sick/personal day if you need it to re-energize.
7.  Practice mindfulness

PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST!!!!

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