Urban learning are a specialist Education Recruitment Agency, providing locum and permanent staff to clients nationwide.With a business model built on providing high quality, compliant, and skilled staff, we aim to give our candidates and clients a personable, professional, and focused.

Teachers’ Stress and Ways to Beat It

Posted on 21.05.2018
As anyone who works in education knows, the life of a teacher can be a demanding and stressful one, albeit very rewarding at times. From planning lessons and marking homework, through to preparing for Ofsted inspections and parents’ evenings, it can all mount up.
A YouGov survey commissioned by an education charity last year found that 75% of teachers in the UK reported symptoms of stress – including depression, anxiety and panic attacks. This is in stark contrast with just 62% of the working population as a whole.
Another survey by NEU showed that workload is causing 80% of teachers to consider leaving the profession. What are the government doing? Earlier this year, The Department for Education claimed it is supporting schools to reduce unnecessary workload (a key factor of teachers’ stress), and has pledged to give schools and teachers longer notice policy changes. Meanwhile, Ofsted has made great efforts to debunk myths that it needs specific types of marking or teaching in classes, and no longer calls out individual teachers during inspections.
Stress is clearly something many teachers experience. With a bit of patience and knowhow, you can also learn how to manage – and ultimately beat – any stresses and strains you might face along your career. Here are some tried and tested methods to reduce and help eliminate teacher stress.
Identify the main causes
There could be several reasons for a teacher to feel stressed. These can include workload, an uncontrollable class, a difficult parent, or an unreasonable head. Try and identify the problems and categorise them into two sections, problems you have control over, and problems you have no control over. When you begin to analyse the stress triggers you have some control over it can give you a solution to addressing some of your stresses.
As the old adage goes “A problem shared, is a problem halved”, and this is very true when it comes to stress. Whether it’s a fellow teacher, your head/ head of department or partner, it’s important to have honest, open discussions about things that worry you and that are causing you stress. Other people may have an alternative way of looking at the issues and may even have a solution you’ve not even thought of.
Prioritise tasks
If a heavy workload is a main cause of stress for you, then an effective way to reduce the amount of work on your agenda is by working on the crucial, most essential tasks/projects first. Remember to be realistic with deadlines and try not to overload your already full schedule. Realise that you’re far more likely to make mistakes when you’re stressed and anxious. With an achievable workload you’re giving yourself the best chance of producing excellent work as well as reducing stress.
Make time for yourself
The very nature of teaching often sees them coming in early and leaving late. Try and stick to your routine and not work too late, too often. Having some kind of work/life balance is essential to reducing stress. Make a schedule for work that you’ll do outside class times and try to keep to it, allowing you to dedicate time outside of this for yourself, friends and family. The bottom line is that learning how to switch off is essential to reducing stress and anxiety.
Write a list
It may seem obvious but making a list at the start of each day, or at the end of the day for the following one, helps give you clarity in exactly what you need to do. Just the act of ticking things off your to-do list has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, not to mention the lovely satisfied feeling you’ll get as your list decreases throughout the day. Move any tasks that you didn’t manage to complete to the top of the next day’s list and finish it as a priority.
Urban Learning’s Education Division Team Leader Michelle Emery says, “Everyone’s looking for the perfect teacher, but although their teachings might be divine, teachers are all too human, and that’s something others find hard to accept. Don’t confuse the teacher with the lesson”.
These are a few obvious but essential ways to help make your work life a little less stressful and a lot more manageable. If you would like to speak to us about your next role in education and start utilising these stress-busting methods, then check out the latest vacancies here.
We look forward to hearing from you.
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