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What’s the mantra all teachers in the school are constantly repeating? It probably sounds similar to “these kids are driving me crazy!” Sometimes you are stressed because you’re facing a challenging family situation, or you don’t have enough finances to go through the month. You bring that burden into the classroom, and it clearly affects your performance. When you combine the personal troubles with energetic students and sometimes overbearing administrators, the stress becomes too difficult to handle.
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The gravity of stress is underestimated. People realize that everyone is under some kind of tension these days, so they think it’s only natural to accept that aspect of everyday life. It’s not! Constantly high levels of stress can take their toll not only on your teaching performance, but on your overall health as well.
Psychological stress affects your critical cognitive processes and causes a state known as mental noise. Your mind gets carried away with burdening thoughts and you’re not even trying to bring it back to the present moment. If the stress levels get too serious, educators may fall into states of anxiety or depression, which undermine their professional effectiveness. Physical manifestations often accompany the psychological effects of stress. Thus, you may experience common headaches, irritability, insomnia, and nausea.
Students don't respond well to stressed teachers.
Why are we talking so much about stress? – Because it’s necessary for you to understand and assess your state of being before you can do something about it. Yes, you do need to take action! Stress is not a natural state of your body and mind. If you’re going through a rough period that has consequences over your teaching performance, you’re affecting the quality of education your students get. You have a professional responsibility to learn how to manage stress.
Each human being has an energetic aura. When you are under physical and emotional tension, you radiate negative vibrations into the surroundings. Your students feel those vibes and they react to them. Sometimes the reaction may be the opposite of what you need at that moment: the students will start acting out.
They need a teacher who can stay calm, focused, and approachable during the classes. When you spread good vibes around you, you’ll discover friendly faces on the other side. With the right attitude, you can make them enthusiastic about the learning process. If you allow the state of stress to rule with your mind and behavior, you won’t be able to achieve that effect.
Stress Management for Teachers
The school climate is stressing you out? If it makes you nervous and you start acting impatiently, you’ll only contribute towards the overall stress both teachers and students experience. This is the only way to make a change: start working on yourself. There are several effective methods that will help you recognize and canalize stress in an effective manner.
Self-reflection is one of the most important methods that enable you to understand your emotions and actions. You can practice self-reflection through a specific meditation technique. Create a calm environment in your home. It would be best to meditate in an uncluttered room; you don’t want any mess to distract your attention outwards.
Take your time to practice this technique before going to bed. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and try to ‘watch a movie’ of your day. Play every scene in your head, but don’t experience the same emotions all over again. A colleague of yours frustrated you at 1 pm? Okay, you got mad and that moment went by. It’s not necessary to go through the same thoughts and emotions now. Simply recognize your actions.
As you continue practicing this technique regularly, you’ll become aware of the present moment and you’ll be capable for constant self-reflection. You will recognize the moments that stress you out and you’ll start being calmer in those situations. It takes time and regular practice, but this type of meditation always works.
Yoga is the antonym of stress. Find a good teacher, sign up for a class and practice regularly! As you make progress, you’ll notice that you can reduce your stress and anxiety level through breathing, different postures, relaxation, and meditation techniques.
You deserve it! When you’re too stressed, your muscles are stiff and your back hurts. That’s your body’s reaction to the disbalance in your thoughts and emotions.Your mental and emotional state affects your physical well-being, but the connection works in the other direction as well: when you relax your muscles, your inner state improves as well. You’ll benefit a lot from a good massage.
4. Remember the Positives
Teaching is an extremely rewarding profession. Why did you become a teacher? Remind yourself of the initial drive and enthusiasm you had when you started sharing your knowledge with students. You are making important contributions towards the development of future generations. You are important! When you recover the satisfaction you felt when you started teaching, you’ll be more resistant to the stressful situations that occur in the school and the classroom.
Schools Should Offer Stress Management Programs for Teachers
All teachers find themselves in challenging situations. The schools and districts should do something about their well-being, since the success of the educational processes depends upon the state and enthusiasm of the teachers. If there is such a program in your school or district, you should definitely attend it. You’ll learn different stress management techniques and you’ll discuss the problems with other educators.
When you become more immune to stress, you’ll realize that you’ve done something of crucial importance for the quality of your life.
The Snarky Schoolteacher is an education and lifestyle blog run by dedicated educational professionals. Our goal is to bring you relevant and fun educational content with a side of sass. Read more about our team here. Thanks for visiting, and we hope you will find these ideas and resources helpful in your classrooms and in your lives.