Stress in Teaching

A site full of real practical ideas and advice for stressed teachers: 
start to look forward to going to work!

Q and A (Quick tips and advice)

It’s all very well relaxing, but what about when you stop the breathing exercises
Find a way of getting to the root of the problem: it may become a neurosis if you don't

Ok so I’ve identified that when I get out of the car and dash into school, that’s when I start to get stressed about my relationships in school
You are fortune telling: don't think you can look into the future. This sounds quite serious. Try using the MYE programme

I’ve got too many things going on, it’s the fact that there is always someone waiting for something
Tell someone at work about any problems you might be having. Line Manager if possible. Go on a time-management course: make it part of your performance management

I build myself up to seeing little Johnny and I know he’s going to wind me up
You have choices: what are they? You are fortune telling: don't think you can look into the future

My line manager always expects too much, I think I’m doing half his job!
You need to talk to him/her, Is teaching the career for you? If you have spoken to friends or colleagues about this, they will be bound to support you because that is what friends and colleagues will do. Write down for your own benefit what your evidence is

I feel very uncomfortable and fat at work!
You probably have stress in your whole life, not just your job.
Have a look at the MYE Programme

I need something I can do to make me feel happy when I’m walking towards my classroom
Are your expectations too high? You don't always have to feel 'happy'. There isn't a magic button you can always press whenever you want. Have a look at the MYE Programme

My heart sinks when I enter the classroom
Learn to think differently: your students deserve better and so do you.
Try using the MYE programme

No, I mean it really sinks: I can hardly even breathe when I get in there
Caffeine is a stimulant so drinks containing caffeine may cause difficulties sleeping and contribute to anxiety. Are you eating chocolate or cakes to cheer you up? There is a blood sugar rush, and 30 minutes later a 'crash'. Look at the MYE

I know Johnny hates me
The map is not the territory: you are not a mind-reader. You don't know anything about Johnny's life

When I go on break duty I feel as though there is always a confrontation around every corner
The map is not the territory: you are not a mind-reader. Try walking around with a smile on your face! Arrange to meet some nice students during your break

Johnny shouts and swears just out of my hearing. He knows I can hear him
Recognise your own self-worth self/esteem: you need to talk to this boy when he is away from his friends. Talk to another student as you approach so Johnny can see that you can't even hear him

After break every day, as I walk out of the staffroom, I wish I was somewhere else
Change into home clothes as
soon as you get home, and consider the alternatives to teaching. Try the MYE

They don’t want to learn French
Stress occurs when the signals are overloading your ability to act or making you feel bad: ask yourself if you want to teach it? Even better question, would you like to be in your own class?

I feel I’m doing the same old thing all the time
Try different ideas, take some risks, do things differently. You need to enjoy your time in the classroom. Take responsibility for the way you feel. Try using the MYE programme

I know the students are talking about my appearance all the time
Get an understanding of transactional analysis and transference (unconscious mind): see the Stress in Teaching book

I used to have so much more energy
Chunk your work: pace yourself. Everyone runs out of energy at times. Don't be so hard on yourself

Let SMT do it they get paid more than me
Question your interpretation. SLT can’t do anything without the staff. It's easy to blame other people, but if you want more money, get onto SLT!

I don’t feel I can control my class
Black and white thinking. See the MYE

I have to work all lunchtime with the choir/Maths revision etc. otherwise they will not perform well
Self-esteem: is it yours or the students? Won't everyone still be happy if they are not as perfect as you think they could be?

I feel like I’m going through hell with this class
Interpret your circumstances differently. As Elvis Presley once said, 'If you're going through hell, keep on going!'
Try using the MYE programme

When I want to explain something to the whole class, I don’t think will they all listen
You can’t predict: you’re not a mind-reader. Stop aiming for perfection. Who says you need silence on demand?
See the Stress in Teaching book

My class will be in an awful mood today!
Choose a different Mantra, or you will make this true! Check out the MYE

I don’t enjoy my teaching at all any more
... think of the things that make teaching fun for you … and do them. Or do something else with your life. See the Stress in Teaching book

Can’t I try hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy will work for a while, but it won't address the root of the problem: you need to look at your feelings. Try the MYE

What if I can’t complete my marking on time?
Tell your line manager and get some support. But don’t tell the students you didn’t feel well: they have their own lives, they don’t look after you

The students think I’m useless because I haven’t marked their topics
Use your time more effectively so you don't get into this situation: check out 'Stress in Teaching'.

I keep forgetting what I’m supposed to be doing
You need to look at your planning and start some 'to do' lists.
See the Stress in Teaching book

Will my class like me
Black and white thinking: is that your main focus? Try the MYE

What do I do about Emma, I Know she doesn’t like me
The behaviour is not the person, and you are not a mind-reader

What will the child say to the parents about me
You can’t predict the future: what do children say to you about parents?!
See the Stress in Teaching book

I have some difficult parents coming up at parents evening
You can’t predict the future: what about the nice parents? Why are you dreading seeing some? Plan your response to what you think their complaint will be

I feel worthless when I get things wrong, and when people like my line-manager talk to me about it
There is no failure, only feedback. Learn from the feedback: that's what people who succeed do

I want to get promoted so I need to be keen and say yes to as much as I can
Is promotion an end in itself? Why? If you were a head teacher, would you respect someone if they said 'yes' all the time, or if they stood their ground?

My line manager keeps piling on the work and nobody else seems to object
Keep away from mind reading: you can’t do it, so you need to take a reality check: find out what the truth of the situation is. Talk to your union representative for help. If you don't want to do this, perhaps you are not being truthful when you talk about your line manager's actions.

My boss thinks I can't cope
Keep away from black and white thinking here and everywhere.
See the Stress in Teaching book





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