A Call for New Responses to the Challenge of Teacher Stress Management

Research Paper 3:  Quinn Cashion

Stress is an all too common phenomenon in our society today and the negative impact it is having in the workplace and in families is significant.  Today’s teachers are not exempt from this crippling problem.  In fact, teachers are in one of the main fields, the helping profession, that have been gripped by stress. In 2005, The European Foundation identified education, health, and social services as the work classifications of highest stress. The UK Health and Safety Executive particularly reported that those employed in education are second only to public administration workers in terms of estimated days off caused by stress (Naylor, 2008).  On the local front, the British Columbia (BC), the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) has noticed the declining wellbeing of teachers based on the number of stress leaves that are recorded every year (Naylor, 2009).  One questions how this mental affliction impacts the quality of teaching for those who suffer from stress and yet choose to remain in the classroom.

CONCLUSION

Currently empowering teachers by becoming aware of the impact their state of mind has in the classroom, has been ignored in the literature as most research strictly addresses the various symptoms individuals’ display.  The researchers of the State of Mind framework suggest that the inclusion of resilience and wellbeing of teachers through a State of Mind approach will provide a more holistic foundation necessary for the promotion of teacher wellness (Bond, 2007). When the adults in a school system are healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually; a more nurturing learning environment for students is assured.  Hence, a more proactive approach to solving teacher stress is required. By integrating a multiyear systemic training and assistance plan that promotes the wellbeing and resilience of teachers, the overall need for reactive chronic stress programs and services would be reduced.

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