Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Teacher Stress

In When Will We Get Serious about Teacher Stress? from Ideas and Thoughts by (Dean Shareski), he states,

“Teachers are stressed. One could argue teachers have always been stressed but I’m sensing something new and disturbing.”

I worry about this also and wish the policy makers would too. This has been an ongoing problem for years and I see it getting worse. I see many good teachers leaving the profession because of burn out and I see them leaving earlier and earlier in their careers. I had an awesome student teacher who was fabulous in the classroom but he ended up leaving after 5 years. I’ve had graduate students in my classes who don’t even make it that long before deciding to leave.

In every class I teach, I try to tell the teachers that they need to find a way to combat stress and burn out. I think many are taking so many sick days because they are emotionally and mentally exhausted.

Over the years I have seen an increase in paperwork overload. Teachers are expected to document so much for liability purposes that it interferes with the actually classroom teaching.

There are so many inconsistencies in the discipline of students in many schools that teachers don’t feel they have the support of their administrators. I saw this in every school that I taught at and I believe this could be easily remedied.

Teachers seem to be expected to perform like robots. They are given a curriculum that they must follow exactly without any regard to teaching style or student’s learning style. This goes against everything we learn in teacher training!

Teachers are expected to worry too much about test scores rather than actually teaching important concepts and skills to the students. I agree that we need to be accountable for what is taught in the classroom but policy makers have gotten out of control with this. In fact, all of this accountability makes it hard to actually teach in the classroom.

When I look at all of these factors, it is no wonder that many young teachers are stressed out and want to leave our noble profession. The other sad fact is that policy makers could help change this and don’t.

I really believe that we need more policy makers to come into the classrooms and see what is actually going on. I don’t mean a 5 minute cursory visit to be seen but rather spend a day or two in an actual classroom and help with the lessons. Maybe then they would have a different perspective when developing policies.

How do you think we can combat teacher stress? Please share.

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