Posted on 04/29/2019 at 10:04 AM by Blog Experts
Teacher stress- it’s a real thing. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, teacher stress is tied with nurses as 46% of both groups report high level of daily stress. Teaching now ranks among the most stressful professions. What you need to know is the stress you feel affects not only you, but your students as well. According to an article entitled “The Hidden Threat of Teacher Stress” in The Conversation, March 2, 2018 chronic stress poses threats to teacher wellness and job performance. It results in low performance, higher absenteeism and high teacher turnover. In fact, about 28% of teachers are chronically absent. A Robert Wood Johnson report entitled “Teacher Stress and Health”, goes on to say that teacher stress results in lower student achievement, decreased student and family engagement, and higher education costs.
Those of us that have flown on a commercial airplane have seen the oxygen mask presentation. “Put on your oxygen mask first so you can help others.” This is exactly how self care works. We need to invest in our own well-being before we can truly do the job we want to do to help others. We have to take care of ourselves. We would love to diminish the causes of stress, however sometimes it is out of our control. It’s time we found ways to manage our stress; we need coping skills. Some teachers find that practicing mindfulness, yoga or meditation helps. Others find that being physically active is what relieves their stress. What helps you relieve the stress you feel? What areas do you need to focus on for your own self-care?
This summer, identify two or three of the following five domains you feel you would benefit from additonal self-care: physical; psychological; emotional; spiritual; workplace & professional. Then think of two strategies for each chosen domain that would improve your self-care. Once you have your strategies, follow through. You have to be proactive and actually schedule time in your week to use those strategies. Take a yoga class, get together with friends, listen to a Ted Talk while cooking dinner, go on a hike or a walk with a friend or loved one, participate in that hobby you love, play a board game with your family, discuss a book with a friend, explore a town you’ve never been to… the list is endless. The key for success is to schedule your activities and do them.
By getting in the habit over the summer, you will be more apt to continue using these strategies throughout the school year. Take care of yourself so your BEST self can take care of those little ones counting on you.