Title : Levels, Causes and Coping Strategies of Stress during Teaching
Name of the Journal : Journal of Law and Psychology
ISSN : 2078-1083
Page Number : 17 – 23
Year Published : September, 2010
To : Dr. Johan Eddy Luaran
Submitted by : Siti Khalijah binti Zainol (2013977165)
This journal is about levels, causes and coping strategies of stress during teaching
practice. The teaching practice is the most crucial period for student-teachers. During this
time, they are assigned to the respective schools for about 12 weeks to undergo for teaching
practice. According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Dictionary, 2006), teaching
practice is the part of a course for people who are training to become a teacher, which
involves teaching classes of the students. Teaching practice is important because it provides
student-teachers with real situation which provides pre-service teachers to experience and
enter the real world of teaching.
Teaching profession is one of the stress professions. In Malaysia, there was a survey
conducted in 2011 by The Department of Community Health, National University of
Malaysia Medical Centre showed that teaching was in the fourth place. Teaching is a stressful
profession because the teachers not only teach, but they need to do another task, such as plan
and prepare the lesson plan and materials, manage the behaviour of the students and mark
The highest degree of stress to student-teachers is because of the lack of classroom
control and management. According to (Marzano, September 2003) classroom management
has the largest impact on the students’ achievement and behaviour. Nevertheless, this
situation is normal for the student-teachers during their teaching practice. Before this they
were only learnt about it from books and reading materials, but during this time, they need to
However, classroom management is not the only causes of stress. Another stresses
related to the evaluation, pedagogical and staff relation factors. According to (Capel, 1997)
students-teachers stress related to the evaluation during the teaching practice is common in
many countries. Because the stress of the evaluation may differ to every student-teacher. It
depends on the student-teachers’ personality and how their reaction towards the evaluation.
Thus, this journal explored on level of stress, their causes and coping strategies
adjusted by the student-teachers during their teaching practice. This finding is important to
help student-teachers to support them with knowledge, improve themselves and prepare them
to become an effective teacher when they become a “real” teacher someday.
2. Description of Methodology:
The approach of this research is quantitative. The design of this research is survey.
The participants of this research are from International Islamic University, Pakistan. The
number of the respondents is 95, which include 15 males and 80 females who studied in
Bachelor of Education and Master of Education. The students had completed 90% of their
courses. Therefore, they were selected to take part in this survey.
The questionnaire was designed to know more about the level of student-teachers
stress, the causes of the stress and how to cope with the stress. The questionnaire wanted to
know what did the student-teachers do to overcome their stress and helped them to improve
during the teaching practicum. Student-teachers have been suggested some of the suggestions
and solutions through open-ended questions.91 out of 95 students completed the
questionnaire and attended a concluding session.
3. Evaluation :
This questionnaire contained four parts; level of stress, the sources of the stress,
coping strategies and the suggestion to improve practicum.
The first part of the questionnaire was developed by Cohen. It is used to measure the
degree to which situations can be considered as stressful. It is the most widely used
psychological instruments to measure the level of stress.
The second part of the questionnaire consisted 30 items related to the causes of the
stress during teaching practice.
The third part of the questionnaire focused on the coping strategies that have been
frequently adopted to overcome the stress during teaching practice. There were eight items in
Last but not least, the fourth part contained an open-ended question that encouraged
student-teachers to give their opinion on how to improve and reduce the stress during
The data were analysed by using a percentage calculation of the responses. 9% of the
student-teachers thought that teaching practice was less stress. However, 86% of them
thought that it was moderate stress, meanwhile 5% of them agreed that teaching practice was
giving them high stress.
According to the writer, there were four major causes of stress. The first cause was
heavy work load. As we know, as student-teachers they need to prepare a lot of things such as
interesting lesson plan and teaching aids. Most of them complained that they were required to
burn the midnight oil in order to complete the lesson plans and teaching aids. Therefore, 80%
of them agreed that heavy work load made them stress.
Besides, the second cause that contributed to the stress was being observed and
evaluated by supervisor and teacher. 76% of the respondents found that being observed and
evaluated by their supervisor and teacher made them stress. The respondents felt nervous and
their self-confidence would be shaken during the observation because they were trying to
Thus, the third cause of the stress was the inadequacy in classroom management. 74%
of the respondents reported that they were having major problems to control and manage the
classroom. It happened because they were lack of knowledge and experience in handling the
discipline problems among the students. It required some times to polish their skills.
Last but not least, 57% of the respondents said that writing detailed lesson plans was
also becoming the cause of the stress to them. Student-teachers need to plan two different
lesson notes for two different subjects every day. They were required to write the lesson in
details and also they must prepare the suitable teaching aids. Sometimes, the lessons that they
planned failed to reach the objectives.
Coping strategies adapted by student-teacher during teaching practice was the third
part in the questionnaire. According to the author, the term coping strategies was best
described as the ways that student-teachers took in order to relieve their stress. 58% of the
respondents stated that communication with a supervisor or teacher and getting guidance or
feedbacks were the best way to relieve the stress. It could be the best way because they need
positive supports and feedbacks from those who can help them to improve themselves to be
better. 54% of the respondents found that they could release their stress by talking to their
friends and family. Teaching practice was the compulsory pre-service component in order to
complete their study. Therefore, getting support from the family and friends are very
important for them because they show their sympathy and lend their ears to listen to the
problems. However, 49% of them agreed that the use of self-management skills such as
preparation, planning and organizational skills could help them to relieve the stress. The
respondents agreed that they need to plan the lesson early and prefer not to do the last minute
The final part of the questionnaire was suggestions from the respondents. According
to the survey, some of the suggestion suggested by the respondents were they need more
guidance before start of the teaching practice, more coordination between university
supervisor and cooperating teacher is required, assigned schools should take student-teachers
as internees and doing the formative assessment instead of final lesson assessment.
4. Discussion of Implication
This study has been done to reflect the teaching practice of the student-teachers from
education programs in Pakistan. This study is important to provide the best foundation for the
future teachers. It is because in this study, the author focused on the level of the stress, the
causes and how to cope with the stress.
It is important to gather the information from the practical experience because it can
equip the future teachers. According to Percy and Elliot (2004), students view isnecessary,
but more importantly, these views need to be acted upon. I agree with their statements. The
finding from the survey can be used to improve the teaching practicum. It is useful for the
universities, teaching colleges, schools and also the ministry in order to improve the program
and make the changes if necessary.
It cannot be denied that teaching practicum can cause stress to the student-teachers.
However, it is normal because everyone will stress out at the beginning of their teaching
practicum because they have a lack of experience. The best way to overcome and reduce the
level of the stress are prepare the lesson and teaching aids earlier and do not be too ambitious.
The student-teachers also need to work hand in hand with their supervisors and the
cooperating teachers who will guide them in the school. They are advised to talk and share
about their problems and seek for the guidance, especially on how to control and manage the
classroom. By doing this, they will have some ideas on how to handle the inadequacy
classroom and tackle the behaviour problems among the students.
Moreover, the student-teachers also can reduce the level of their stress by keeping the
journal during the teaching practice. It will help them to reflect on their teaching and try to
find the solution to improve.
Nowadays, teaching profession is very tough and challenging. The teachers must be
ready to be versatile and able to cope with the stress. With this survey, the author hopes that
the university supervisor and the cooperating teachers will work as a harmonious team to help
the student-teachers to prepare themselves before entering the real teaching life. The less
stress student-teachers, will increase their performance and the better they will be.