Stress is a part of life, right? We all have to learn to deal with it. Teachers, however, report high levels of stress and the attrition rate of new teachers is between 30-40% in the first five years. While your employer has some responsibility for the health and safety, it is up to you to be accountable for your own wellbeing.
Behaviour Management is one of the greatest challenges facing teachers. And it is not only new teachers who can feel overwhelmed by classroom demands. Because of the ever-evolving nature of teaching, the growing diversity of students and increasing societal pressures, teachers are constantly learning different ways to manage stress, workload and expectations.
Teachers who adopt a positive approach to behaviour are more likely to have improved wellbeing through increased job satisfaction since they are not looking for a quick fix, but recognise that like all learning, we need long term solutions that take the needs of the student into account.
Teacher wellbeing and teacher stress are strongly linked to student wellbeing and consequently to student achievement. A teacher who prioritises their wellbeing using a variety of strategies to cope with the inevitable stress, is more likely to be resilient when the going gets tough and an inspiring role model for students. A teacher who prioritises their wellbeing using a variety of strategies to cope with the inevitable stress, is more likely to be resilient when the going gets tough and an inspiring role model for students. Here are 5 really simple ways to beat teacher stress, increase teacher wellbeing and student achievement...
Student and teacher wellbeing are closely linked, and both impact student achievement and outcomes. Adopting some simple practices in the classroom can improve the quality of life for both your students and yourself.
The beginning of the school year is undoubtedly exciting, but it can also be an overwhelming time for new teachers, or even for experienced teachers and if you are changing schools, teaching a new grade level or a new subject area or going back to teaching after a break, this time can be even more stressful. There are three things that will make a huge difference to your classroom, your sanity and your students’ success and they are not about curriculum, they are about behaviour.
The way we are working isn’t working for teachers. ‘74% of employees are experiencing an energy crisis.’ Tony Schwarz ‘I have so much time to do all the things I need to do’ Said no teacher ever!! Time for all the marking and the lesson plans and the meetings, and creating resources and the parent meetings and time for that student who is falling behind, and the student who is miles ahead.
One of the key takeaways from the Teacher Wellbeing Workshop in 2017 to reduce workload, was prioritising tasks to use your time and energy more effectively. Deciding what tasks you need to do and what can be left undone can be very freeing. As can realising that you can say no: no to students, to colleagues, to parents, and (even!) no to your boss. Teachers are notorious for saying yes to far too many projects and then burning out. It’s a downward spiral.
Here is an outstanding list of Behaviour Management Resources for Teachers.
Put these 7 strategies in place to reduce parental anxiety (and your own) in meetings with parents.
The end of the year is fast approaching and if you are like any other teacher ever, you will be checking up on how much content you have taught this year, how much you didn’t get done and frantically trying to assess students for their learning so that you can write an accurate report for the end of the year.
When students don’t listen or follow directions, or they roll their eyes when you speak, or they talk while you are talking, it can seem as though they don’t care what you think of them. This is a misconception. Young people do care what adults e.g. parents and teachers think of them. They care very deeply even when they don’t show it. The more it seems they don’t care, the more they do care.
While we cannot eliminate all change from a student’s school day, we can put some strategies in place that help students to cope and hopefully prevent difficult behaviour or meltdowns that may result from their anxiety.
Student voice and choice. Creating a classroom environment where students and teacher really listen to one another in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding may be considered idealistic. But what are teachers if not idealists? If students feel accepted and free to express themselves they are more likely to take risks with their learning. They will feel ok to say, “I don’t understand” or “I don’t get it” and to ask for help. To develop a non-threatening classroom climate takes time, effort and effective, consistent practices.
Have you ever had a student who displayed challenging behaviour that baffled you? None of your usual behaviour tricks and tools seem to work. The student responds positively to you one day, but the next won’t do anything for you. Or they love your reward system for a couple of days and then refuse to participate in it.
Some teachers will say that it is not their job to teach students how to behave, or how to regulate their emotions, or how to make friends or what to do when they feel angry. However, if you don’t teach them these important social skills at school, how will they learn?
The classroom environment can contribute to problems between students as well as reduce student engagement and learning. When teachers and schools give careful thought to how the environment is arranged, authentic learning is enhanced and incidental behaviour issues can be prevented.
Where students and teacher get on with the business of learning and growing with the least amount of fuss and disruption. Where students are engaged and excited about the learning. Where there are clear ground rules for how to behave, how to treat each other and how to learn.
With a focus on how the school principal and executive can lead their staff in the area of wellbeing by being role models and positive examples, the five ways to wellbeing fit beautifully into school life especially as part of building a positive school culture that supports staff health and wellness.
Happiness, energy and confidence are boosted by focusing on teacher wellbeing. Both yours and your students!