We all know that.
Stress reduction is important to your health.
We also know that.
But what is stress, REALLY?
Anyone involved in teaching know that our physical bodies, emotions, minds, and spirits are all involved in school work.
Even on holiday, teachers are working, or at least thinking about teaching.
Such dedication need not be negative.
Effective teaching is all about making a difference in students’ lives.
The challenge is to make that difference without permitting teacher stress to impact on effective teaching.
The challenge is to practice good stress reduction techniques.
An understanding of stress reduction must begin with an understanding of stress.
Stress is not that stack of un-graded papers.
Stress is not the child who insists on asking endless questions, no matter how well you explain.
Stress is not a matter of two teenagers leaping into the aisle to fight, while the rest of the class chants, “Fight, fight, fight.”
Stress is not the parent who calls repeatedly to complain that you are not teaching her child properly.
Stress is not even the principal inviting you to the office for a job review interview.
All of the above are stressors, not stress.
A stressor is a stimulus that causes stress.
Above are all examples stressors.
When John broke that expensive science equipment, his action was a stressor.
When Betty brought her father’s spearfish for show-n-tell – and stabbed it into your right arm – that was a stressor.
They were stimuli that caused stress.
They themselves were not stress, but they stimulated stress.
Stress is your RESPONSE to the above examples.
“Good stress” or “bad stress” is produced dependent on your response.
Which calls for job stress reduction?
On the one hand, you respond negatively in fight-or-flight mode.
Effective teaching virtually flies out the window.
Adrenalin floods your body and muscles tense.
Blood is shunted from extremities to core organs.
All systems are “go” for fleeing or fighting the enemy.
On the other hand, you respond positively by becoming excited and challenged.
Endorphins power happy determination to move ahead.
You are flooded with a feeling of euphoria, ready to make the best of the stressor.
You keep effective teaching firmly in focus.
Teacher Stress, negative or positive, is your response to stressors.
The battle is of course, not to let teacher stress negatively impact of effective teaching.
Easier said than done, unfortunately.
But knowledge is power and you do have the capacity to overcome teacher stress problems with knowledge.
You must have - YOU'RE A TEACHER!
Don't let teacher stress beat you.