Stress. This is a thing that makes my heart race uncontrollably and makes me feel uneasy! But I made up my mind, I should not be affected by stress nor let it manage my perspectives!
I hate to be called a stressed teacher! So, how do I learn to manage teacher stress?
Teachers are among the people who experience a lot of stress. In fact, I am one of them. However, I always view stress as part and parcel of life which should not magnify our weaknesses.
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Taking on the Realms of the Teaching Profession
Teaching can be very overwhelming. With all the increasing demands and tasks, a teacher may fall prey to teacher burnout due to stress. Managing an assembly of different personalities is very challenging and keeping abreast of all the expectations for the teachers is a lot more stressful. In other words, teachers have a lot of sources of stress. If stress is not managed well, it could affect one’s performance and capacity that could negatively impact student learning. Hence, here’s my point, “How do I learn to manage teacher stress?”.
It’s very ironic that we teachers are dealing with our students as the center of the educative process yet according to study the unpredictable and disruptive behavior of our students is our main source of stress. Student behavior is one of the big issues in the classroom that poses a challenge for the teacher.
Being concerned for the welfare of my students, I’m always on the positive side of motivating my students so I can impact on their learning and achievement. Although the daily mechanics of teaching can be truly stressful, we can still be more productive and constructively promote learning by learning how to manage teacher stress.
Yes, stress is inevitable. It can happen to anyone. However, life should not stop revolving just because it is stressful per se. We should not allow stress to cut us out. As things around us become so overwhelming, we should respond accordingly and manage stress. Otherwise, things become topsy-turvy.
Well, it’s just a matter of equipping ourselves with incredible ways and stress management strategies for a rewarding teaching career.
How Do I Learn To Manage Teacher Stress? 7 Incredible Means Every Teacher Must Adopt
Stress management needs an open mind and optimism. If you are secluded with your negative thoughts and actions, you can’t control the things around you and will find yourself so restless. Don’t worry, if you feel like the world is about to crumble and no more extensions of options, we’ve got you covered. You have to adopt these incredible means of managing teacher stress to get going and to effectively teach all the time.
1. Deal with stress with an open mind.
This is a practical way of embracing stress. The more you reject its occurrence the more you succumb to the tentacles of a stressful existence. Just accept the fact that our job is a lot more stressful. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist, in her sharing at TEDGlobal in 2013, suggested viewing stress positively and that it’s bad to view it as a negative item in our lives and that changing what you think about stress can do a lot better.
Dealing with stress at work needs acceptance. Because the more you deny its existence in your life, the more it can affect you as it deeply ruins your conduct and composure. Moreover, I also believe that all of us experience stress that makes me feel a lot better. At least I am not the only one in the world who gets stressed. It’s very common and accepting it and managing it well is my most realistic approach.
2. Stay organized. It does magic!
A simple scenario of looking for your pen or scanning through your piles of files can be a lot stressful. This wastes your time and affects your productivity. Just stay organized all the time and experience a magical existence in the classroom.
Effective classroom prepping can set your days and can greatly increase your productivity. By being so organized with your plans, with your classroom supplies, and with your classroom activities you can be a very efficient teacher. I know that it’s our nature to leave things where they are for we believe that the next day has always a room for that not knowing that we are submitting ourselves to being naturally disorganized.
3. Don’t procrastinate!
If time and resources permit, then do it now! It’s the simplest way of not missing deadlines and doing things proactively. Unlocking the box of stress in your life will get you surrounded by dim perceptions of just about anything. Every time you delay things as scheduled, that takes an inch of your time and establish a domino effect in your overall performance as a teacher.
Hence, don’t procrastinate. Delaying actions can put pressure on our life which ultimately encourages stress. Procrastination should be deleted from our system. That is why I always have my teacher planner updated and take schedules by heart. It really helps. Don’t put your tasks on memory although you have a good one.
The act of putting off tasks for the next day even though they are scheduled today will demand your precious time which can complicate your time in the future. If there’s still time to grade my students’ output today and record them in my eClass Record, I grab that opportunity.
For me, time is of the essence and I don’t give myself the right to waste it. I just don’t want to temporarily escape from the immediate demands of teaching because I don’t want to be a victim of deadline pressure which causes too much stress.
4. Start the day right.
A stressful morning just isn’t right. It will affect your mood and will toggle your teaching plans for the specific day. By starting the day with a positive attitude, stress won’t come in the way. Well, my practical tip for this matter is to sleep early and wake up early. It’s very basic yet it’s proven to be effective.
By starting up early, you can have a healthy breakfast and miss the heavy traffic. Doing this will not only save you from dodging traffic but will also help you actualize your plans on-time more effectively and efficiently.
Being an early riser will help you get the answer to the question, “How do I learn to manage teacher stress?” It’s the best strategy to get productive. Just commit to it and it results in a contagious happy mood. Moreover, your students will benefit from it too. If you arrive at school earlier, this gives you ample time to prepare the classroom preliminaries before the students arrive.
5. Breathe out.
Inhale. Exhale. When things in the classroom become unaccommodating, breathe them out. Pause for a while and take a deep breath. If you find yourself feeling down because of consistent student disruptions, hold onto something, make a firm grip, and breathe out!
I know deeply that our unmotivated students can be our number one stressor in the classroom but we should not take it negatively. It’s frustrating and we’ve all been there!
These learners just need us more and more. Rejecting them just won’t let stress roll off your back. It’s high time to reevaluate our student behavior strategies and reach out to our colleagues for effective strategies and practices. Just be open to that.
6. Be comfortable with your students.
For you to always look good and beautiful throughout the year, you should feel comfortable with your students. Having open communication and a set of attainable expectations in the classroom will help you deal with your students going forward. Talk to them.
On my end, I am calling them by their first names and I even incorporate terms of endearment to express my fondness. I usually say, “Hey sweetheart, or Oh my dear, Hi lovable one, you are missing this activity. Do you need help with this one?”
My kids love it. Moreover, listening to their concerns and answering their queries can help you build a strong relationship with them.
If we are able to manage our student’s behavior, it will be easy for us to reach out to them. Also, by encouraging them to express their feelings and ideas, they will likewise feel comfortable with you as their teacher.
Giving our students a sense of belonging makes them feel nurtured. If they feel that the classroom is a space and accommodating spot for learning, you will earn their trust, confidence, and respect. By doing that, you will feel more comfortable teaching them and stress won’t come your way. It will be easier to understand and identify their needs if you have fostered a good connection with your students.
7. Be happy and love your work.
How you teach will resemble how happy you are in the teaching field. Both your personal and professional growths tell people how happy you are as a teacher.
Our license as a teacher isn’t a full indication that we are happy with our profession. But for me, I love my work. The successes of my students make me happy too. I consider my students as my sons and daughters in school. If they progress, it puts a long-lasting smile on my face.
Aside from being a mother, being a teacher makes me happier because I am enjoying what I am doing. No matter how demanding the teaching profession is, it still makes the most of my existence, but does not consume my whole life! What I mean is, even though my tasks are increasing, I never let stress defeat my mission. I just don’t let it because I am happy with my profession.
Just take note. Stress can make a horrible scene if it creeps into our life by being unhappy. That being the case, I am not an unhappy teacher.
Watch this video and learn additional tips on how to make stress your friend.
A teacher is a busy person. If he/she does nothing, it can cause future personal pressure that brings in stress. So, you should be happy if you are doing something right now. It’s all right to sit quietly for a moment and let go of all the negativity. But it isn’t good to do nothing all day and to skip what’s scheduled.
Remember, we can be the best that we can be if we are happy teachers. So, let’s be happy, invite good vibes. As at what has been said befriend stress so it will turn out to be a positive accommodation for everything.
Whether it’s for the great or the imperfect, let’s celebrate our being a teacher. Happy teaching fellows!
Feel free to comment on your top tips on how to manage teacher stress. Drop your thoughts underneath and let’s band together.