Stress in Teaching

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Anxiety - A few simple facts
  • Anxiety is a form of fear that happens as a result of thoughts, like, 'what will I do tomorrow if my class won't listen?'
  • When a zebra spots a lion, it causes an adrenalin rush which helps it to run away quickly. A real fear caused by a real event with a much needed chemical response which is USED.
  • For humans, the thought and the actual event are often not the same. You think students are making fun of you as you pass by, but they are laughing at a joke someone has just told.
  • People, unlike animals, can cause ADRENALINE to be produced in their own bodies in DIRECT RESPONSE to a thought. 'The head wants to see me, I bet someone has complained' is a though that might produce adrenalin.
  • When teachers have adrenalin-producing thoughts, they often fail to get rid of the adrenaline, (like the zebra does when it runs away), so the adrenalin builds up.
  • This build up of adrenalin causes MORE thoughts which in turn trigger MORE adrenaline releases. In this way anxiety can build up in a teacher.

They certainly do!

Teachers can have a build up of adrenaline in their bodies. They are a bit late for a lesson, they haven't finished marking the latest set of books, they wonder what their Line Manager thinks of them. So when a frightening thought strikes they have nowhere to go - their adrenaline levels spike into the red immediately. The final straw may be something fairly trivial: someone hasn't done their homework! The longer the teacher remains in this state, the worse all the symptoms of their anxiety will become: physical, mental and emotional.

It is the same for a stressed and anxious child as it is for teachers. It is structural, human and entirely logical. Students get anxious. Teachers get anxious.

Click here to see a teacher at home with his own daughter to see what we mean!



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