The Many Stresses of Teaching (and How to Fight Back)
Teaching is no easy task. Whether you are formally trained or an online tutor, you need to know the risks.
Teaching is not an easy line of work. You spend five days a week taking care of not one or two children – but up to 30 at a time. You have to plan the lessons you teach them in a structured way that complies with government guidelines, and lesson plans can take hours to produce. Add to this the time spent teaching the children, and plus the time spent marking assignments, and you soon see that teaching isn’t a full time job – it’s a way of life.
Even when a teacher isn’t in the classroom, they are still held accountable. For example, if you area high school teacher and your 6th form students spot you in the pub, you will never live it down. Your behaviour must be responsible even in your free time. Bad decision can end your career. A teacher must be impeccable, all the time, and that gets highly stressful.
Teaching is a High-Pressure Role
Since teachers have this constant need to perform responsibly and even in their home life, the role becomes a pressured one. We all remember the eruption of work-life balance focus from back before the pandemic, but are we still living by the boundaries we set ourselves back then, or did they all get forgotten in light of the global trauma?
Our teachers had a poor work-life balance before Covid-19. When the pandemic began, they were forced to work remotely, blending learning through video with classroom learning. They had to contend with home schoolers, with correcting mistakes made, and with learning to operate the video chat systems that let normal life continue.
Teachers of 2020-22 had to deal with all of this, on top of the lesson planning, and the marking, and the communicating with parents, and all the rest. Teachers are burned out, stressed out, and are heading towards all time highs in absenteeism as a result. But what can we do to rectify the situation?
How We Can Take Better Care of our Teachers?
We need to form strategies to better protect teaching staff as we move forward. Yes, things seem to be back to normal for the moment, but there is no guarantee a mutation won’t send us right back to home learning again. We need to come together as educational establishments to great strategies for exactly this change. Now that it has happened once, we ought to be prepared for it to happen again.
A good strategy is to implement wellbeing training. Hays Wellbeing Training is one of the better forms of wellbeing training on the market. Not only is it fully remote, but it’s also totally free. They even give you access to those Learning Management Systems we discussed in our previous article.
We should regularly meet with our remote and teaching staff to make sure they feel supported. We need to extend invitations to them to ask for the help they need when they need it. We also need to focus on giving them the well-earned time off they deserve.