Managing Stress in Teaching
The reality is that teaching is a demanding profession, and managing stress is essential to keep up with your work. Teachers are responsible for the academic and social-emotional well-being of their students, and they often have to contend with challenging behaviors, tight deadlines, and ever-evolving expectations.
It’s therefore no surprise that teaching stress is prevalent within the industry, with 75% of teachers describing themselves as stressed.
While this statistic has a significant impact, teaching remains one of the most rewarding and fulfilling job roles you can find. There are also several straightforward steps you can take to make your life easier and manage teaching stress during challenging times.
When you’re feeling anxious due to teaching stress, it’s almost always helpful to speak with someone who understands what you’re going through. Firstly, discussing your concerns with colleagues will undoubtedly make you feel less isolated, as sometimes all you need is a sympathetic ear.
Secondly, your colleagues are a valuable source of support, and they may offer advice based on their own experiences on how to better handle a situation. They might even provide practical assistance, such as covering your class or helping with your workload. Chances are, someone at your school has faced the same issue you’re dealing with.
Relying on your colleagues for support underscores the importance of building meaningful relationships from the outset of your employment. Always strive to create a network of trustworthy friends who will respect your confidentiality. Knowing that you both have someone to turn to during tough times can be a tremendous support and is integral to managing teaching stress for everyone.
It’s crucial to establish boundaries between your work life and personal life. Try not to bring work home with you every night and make an effort to relax and enjoy your free time instead. While this may not be possible all the time, aim to have at least two evenings entirely free from work. Plan ahead and set specific times during the week to work on lesson plans, grading, and other tasks. This prevents you from becoming completely overwhelmed and is an effective strategy for managing teaching stress.
One way to reduce your take-home workload is to plan engaging, hands-on lessons that allow students to showcase their work. This reduces the amount of grading you need to do – a task that often gets done at home. Another option is to involve students in how the lessons are taught. Offer them 2-3 viable choices and let them decide how and what they want to learn – within reason, of course. This means less planning and preparation on your part, and your students will benefit more from the lessons.
What are the factors that tend to stress you out the most? Once you pinpoint your triggers, you can begin to develop strategies for dealing with them to help manage teaching stress. For example, if you find that you become stressed when you have an excessive workload, break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Remember, it’s perfectly acceptable to decline additional commitments.
This process involves trial and error. When a trigger arises, try out a coping technique and see if it works – you can always try something different next time if it doesn’t.
Another way to identify your triggers is to pay attention to your body. You may experience physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, or stomach aches when you’re feeling stressed. Once you know your triggers, you can start developing coping mechanisms to reduce any physical discomfort.
Having a plan for your evenings makes it more likely that you can effectively manage your teaching stress. Ensure you allocate time for activities you enjoy and always make an effort to spend time with friends and family. Taking some personal time each evening will help you unwind and reduce stress.
Getting enough sleep is also crucial. The simple truth is that you’re better equipped to manage stress when you’re well-rested. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and try to establish a consistent sleep routine – and stick to it!
If you’re seeking ways to manage stress, LTF Recruitment offers a wide range of professional development courses, including those focused on supporting mental health. These resources can be invaluable when you need them most and will enhance your teaching career’s overall satisfaction.
Alternatively, sometimes the best option is to explore new career opportunities. LTF is always ready to assist when you’re considering a career change, and you can find a wide range of teaching assistant jobs derby and other locations worldwide. Simply upload your CV today to begin your journey.
Contact LTF Recruitment today to learn more about how we can assist you in managing stress in your teaching career.