Enabling teachers to cope better with stress

Enabling teachers to cope better with stress


Enabling teachers to cope better with stress

Today’s life is full of challenges. The work of a teacher is physically and mentally challenging.

A teacher needs to use a lot of energy to maintain a proper balance between work (preparing for lectures, keeping a tab on the student’s progress, etc) and life (family commitments) balance. As a result, a teacher is exposed to immense stress.  More than ever before work is not seen as the root of infinite satisfaction and fulfillment, but rather a source of stress, discontentment and humiliation.


There are many factors that contribute to a teacher’s stress. Here are a few:

General factors: Appraisals, threats of school closure, media portrayal and inability to reconcile different roles like a guide and counsellor, etc.

Role of management: Feeling of being used, lack of flexibility in times of need, too much emphasis on paper work, lack of support, not knowing if you are doing a good job, lack of good pay, etc.

Policy and ethos of the institute: Lack of consultation, no clear boundaries of responsibility, adopting to change, after hour work, etc.

Working conditions: Large classes, crowded staff areas, poorly lit rooms, lack of resources, rewards don’t match efforts.

The students: Lack of co-operation, using bad language, answering back, verbal abuse and attitude towards authority.


Create personal and professional goals: The important thing to remember when creating these goals is to make sure that they are attainable. It is okay to aim high. But when you set the bar too high, you can end up adding additional stress.

Think positively: As a teacher, it can be easy to formulate an attitude of pessimism and hopelessness. This is basically because there is so much to do and limited little time to do it. Teachers must train their minds to pause and reflect in order to respond positively to the situation.

Take breaks: Teachers often feel that with all the work they have, they must stay late each night. However, it’s important to take breaks time to time to ease your mind and also get a fresh perspective as well.

Have teaching assistants: Take the help of teaching assistants to help you grade CIA papers. This helps them check their own work and creates a perfect practice for them. This would also create more time for you.

 Get organised: Organisation is a great way to get rid of stress! As it takes time to get organised, you may need to come in early or stay late one or two days during a week to get your work organised. Once done, you will see a change in your stress levels.

Classroom learning centres: To reduce daily stress, create and manage small group classroom learning centres. Classroom learning centres will decrease the role of the teacher and increase the purpose of student learning. This will give you, as the teacher, more individual time with students. You will also feel a sense of relief as you are given more time to discuss student difficulties and you will be able to scaffold your students in their unique learning process

Model learning centre behaviour: It is important when creating small group learning centres that you model how to behave in a small group as well as discuss their different roles. Sometimes, small groups may require students to change roles as note-taker, writer, problem solver, leader, etc.

When students are working independently in small groups around the classroom, it is easy for the teacher to walk around and monitor student learning.

These are just a few ways, and there many others, to help you begin your stress-free teaching. So, get started!

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