How to Handle Stress as a Teacher

Teacher Stress Classroom Teaching Primary

How to Handle Stress as a Teacher

When discussing jobs where stress is an issue, you don’t get too far before teaching is mentioned. Needing to please students, parents, colleagues and leadership at every turn, it can feel like you are spinning plates, just waiting for them all to fall.

As time rolls on, the conversation around stress in the workplace is growing, with eye-popping statistics being released year on year. For example, as many as 76% of employees report moderate-to-high or high levels of stress, and among teachers just 1% said their workload was manageable all the time.

It’s worth noting that not all stress is bad. 54% of employees agree that the perfect amount of stress can help them thrive, and drive them to work better. Finding ways that can make stress levels manageable is important. Here are our tips on how to do just that:

Time management

There aren’t many jobs like teaching where almost everyone gives in to the temptation to take work home at the end of the day. The trouble is, it throws your work-life balance off kilter. Putting clear boundaries up between your work and personal life can help you focus on the things that make you happy. Getting into the habit of planning your day and marking during lessons can reduce the amount of work you need to do in the evening – and beyond.

Manage Expectations

Learning how to say no can be helpful in preventing the feeling of burnout or added pressure from having too much on. It’s not rocket science, but making sure your workload is manageable can help with work-life balance and make it easier for your to enjoy your time in the classroom. If the requests are piling up, learning to say no or asking to take time to think before saying yes can greatly help in ensuring important tasks are prioritised and deadlines are met. Remember, a simple “no” isn’t always a refusal! Use it to begin a negotiation!

Practice Self Care

Mindfulness and exercise are two of the biggest ways to relieve stress and improve your mental and physical wellbeing. Small, incremental changes to the way you treat your body and mind can feel insignificant in the short term yet can quickly build up to make a profound impact on your life. As teachers, most of your working day is spent standing which is a great start! Also, prioritising a consistent sleeping pattern, spending 30 minutes outdoors daily and deep breathing can make a huge impact to reduce stress levels and even prevent them from building up in the first place.

Reach out for Support

Finally, support networks can be a huge help in dealing with stress, whether that be in person such as other staff and family, or online via various outlets. The Stress Management Society has many free resources on dealing with stress and poor mental health, as well as creating Stress Awareness Month which occurs every year, marking its 32nd year in April 2024. As a focus for teachers, The National Education Union are doing lots of work towards improving workload, wellbeing and mental health in the education sector.

There’s an element of competition to every workplace, and more and more is being asked of teachers. Being able to cope with everyday stress of teaching shouldn’t have to be a necessity, but by taking small steps to reduce stress today, you can massively improve your health and wellbeing in the future.

At Pertemps Education, we look for schools where the teachers are happy! And we take stock of their strengths and weaknesses – for example, where ECTs likely to thrive rather than survive! We’re sure to be able to find you a great new opportunity. If you’d like to hear more, please get in touch with one of our experienced consultants today!

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