HSE research (2000) - teaching is among the most stressful professions in the UK, with 41.5% of teachers reporting themselves as ‘highly stressed’. Journal of Managerial Psychology in 2005, ranked teaching as the 2nd most stressful job out of 26 occupations analysed. The study found that only ambulance drivers experienced higher levels of stress than teachers!
YouGov (2007) - stress led half of all teachers to consider leaving the profession in that year. Those considering leaving cited the following factors: long hours insufficient management support excessive workload large class sizes pupil behaviour
Questionnaire results 4 points or less: You are least likely to suffer from stress-related illness. Your coping strategies are obviously working for you...or you’re lying!
Questionnaire results 5 - 13 points: You are more likely to experience stress related ill health - either mental, physical or both. You would benefit from re-evaluating your stress management strategies.
Questionnaire results 14 points or more: You show a number of traits or characteristics that are creating un-healthy long term behaviours. This means that you are very likely to experience stress & stress-related illness. It is strongly recommended that you seek medical advice and/or stress management counselling.
Reading the signs - Psychological Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions Memory lapses Becoming rather vague Easily distracted Less intuitive & creative Excessive worrying Negative thinking Depression & anxiety.
Reading the signs - Emotional Tearful Irritable Mood swings Sensitivity to criticism Defensive Feeling out of control Lack of motivation Frustrated Lack of confidence Lack of self-esteem.
Reading the signs - Behavioural Little time for relaxation or pleasurable activities Becoming a workaholic Prone to accidents Increased reliance on negative coping strategies Poor time management and/or standards of work Self neglect/change in appearance Social withdrawal Relationship problems Insomnia or waking tired Aggressive/anger outbursts Absenteeism.
Reading the signs - Physical Indigestion/heartburn/ulcers Dizziness/palpitations Panic attacks/nausea Physical tiredness Menstrual changes/loss of libido/sexual problems Heart problems/high blood pressure. Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teeth Frequent colds/infections Allergies/rashes/skin irritations Constipation/diarrhoea/ IBS Weight loss or gain
Positive mental coping strategies Know your stress triggers Support network Relaxation techniques (Heartmath) Hobbies Build in renewal time Faith
Positive professional coping strategies Good organisation Don’t reinvent the wheel Commitment to C.P.D. Follow the 10 commandments of career teaching.
1. Thou shalt not try to be perfect. 2. Thou shalt not try to be ALL things to ALL people. 3. Thou shaltaccept that some things must be left undone and some things may never get done! 4. Thou shalt accept that not all thy lessons will succeed. 5. Thou shalt learn to say ‘No.’ 6. Thou shaltbe more than just a teacher. 7. Thou shaltlisten to thy body’s warnings. 8. Thou shalt ask for help. 9. Thou shalt not feel guilty for being merely human. 10. Thou shaltbe as kind and understanding to thyself as thou art to those young people in thy care.