Finding relief for highly stressed teachers

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week this week, and man, do these teachers deserve our appreciation.

A recent study found 93 percent of elementary school teachers are highly stressed. That so many endure this stress and continue their work teaching children is incredible, and as a mother and grandmother, I’m grateful.

Researchers suggest big-picture changes to create a more positive environment for teachers, including finding ways for administrators and parents to have positive interactions with teachers; giving teachers the time and training they need to do their jobs; and creating support networks so teachers don’t feel isolated. They also recommend instituting programs that promote good mental health practices and overall health.

But there are things teachers can do individually to cope with the stress better. I read a blog post on scholastic.com with one teacher’s recommendations, and a lot of these ideas can be applied to anyone experiencing professional stress. Here are a few:

  • Make to-do lists, highlighting the most important tasks. (This can also help you sleep better!)
  • Delegate tasks (to parent volunteers or student teachers) if you can.
  • Exercise.
  • Avoid negative colleagues. Seek out those who inspire you.
  • Try not to take work home.
  • Regularly do things not related to your job that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Grow personally! Learn and develop new skills.
  • Learn to say no to extra work.
  • Meditate.

Excessive stress is terrible for your mind and body. Teachers and everyone: Take care of yourselves!

Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Mental Health Solutions, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. If you would like to discuss the information in this blog further with her, please call 208-918-0958. She sees adolescents and adults. Information in this blog is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider about decisions regarding your health.

 

Leave a Reply